Today the FAA announced new regulations requiring drone (UAS) registration for recreational and hobby users of UAS. The registration process is for owners of small unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds, including payloads such as on-board cameras or sensors.
Those 13 and older who have purchased a drone prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of any UAS purchased after December 21, 2015 must register before the first flight outdoors. The registration is valid for three years. The normal registration fee is $5, but in an effort to encourage as many people as possible to register quickly, the FAA is waiving this fee for the first 30 days (from Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan 20, 2016).
“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.”
According to this study released on Friday, of the 927 incidents recorded, 327 between December 2013 and September 2015 posed proximity dangers. This occurs when an UAS gets within 500 feet of a plane or helicopter OR when a pilot deems a drone as too close and dangerous. The FAA prohibits the use of unmanned aircraft within 5 miles of any airport within the U.S. without permission from air traffic control. One in every five of these incidents occurred within a “no-drone zone” at an airport.
Owners using the model aircraft for hobby or recreation will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAS.
Owners may register through a web-based system at www.faa.gov/uas/registration.