Unmanned Aircraft Systems, known also as drones, have become one of the biggest selling items this holiday season. Whereas they used to be toys of the rich only, the technology behind drones has significantly dropped the price so almost anyone may afford one. However, that has also caused a recent string of problems because of the lack of regulation. Before they make any lasting rules, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US wants to create accountability with a drone registry.
Are you planning on getting a drone soon? Do you already own drones? Are you giving one as a gift soon? If the drone in question weighs from .55 lbs to just under 55 lbs, it will need to be registered. If you are not sure if your drone qualifies, the FAA has placed a guide on their website, along with FAQs. We will answer some preliminary questions that you might find interesting here, though.
- When does registration begin? – The register opens on Dec. 21st, 2015.
- Is there a fee to register? – Yes. There is a $5 fee that covers all of your drones. It is refundable before Jan. 20th, 2016.
- What is the penalty for not registering? At a maximum civil penalty of $27,500, and a criminal penalty of up to $250k + 3 years in jail, you will want to register.
- How long do you have to register your drone? – 60 days from purchase date.
Additional answers and questions will be found on their website. Clearly, the FAA is very serious about their registry, and they have the jurisdiction to enforce these rules. Of course, regulations for drones are still in their beginning stages. There are still rules that need to be written regarding different types of scenarios, but this register seems to be a good starting point. By it’s nature, the registry may begin to cut back on factors that are currently a problem. This registry is only for private use drones, so the rules for commercial drones will be different written.
Remember, if there are drones in your future, either giving or receiving, they must be registered within 60 days. As the industry ages, it will be interesting to see how the rules will be administered and what rules will come to light. Will this registry stop civilians from getting in the way of law enforcement or firefighting? Perhaps. Will it stop crazy people from shooting them down? Perhaps not. No matter what the future holds, there is likely to be a bumpy journey ahead for drones and drone users.