Hobbyists must register UAS in U.S.; FAA waves fee for 30 days

WASHINGTON, 15 Dec. 2015. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials say small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) owners must register aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (25 kilograms), including payloads such as on-board cameras, via a new, user-friendly, web-based aircraft registration process. The $5 registration fee is waived for the first 30 days, and the new rule applies to hobbyist and recreational, not business, use.

Dec 15th, 2015
FAA grants blanket approval to 1,120 drones… sort of
FAA grants blanket approval to 1,120 drones… sort of

WASHINGTON, 15 Dec. 2015. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials say small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) owners must register aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (25 kilograms), including payloads such as on-board cameras, via a new, user-friendly, web-based aircraft registration process. The $5 registration fee is waived for the first 30 days, and the new rule applies to hobbyist and recreational, not business, use.

“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” says 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.”

Under this new rule, based on recommendations by the FAA’s Registration Task Force, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of any other UAS purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21, 2015 must register before the first flight outdoors. Owners may use either the paper-based process or the new streamlined, web-based system. Owners using the new streamlined web-based system must be at least 13 years old to register.

Owners can register online at: www.faa.gov/uas/registration

Registrants will need to provide their name, home address, and e-mail address. Upon completion of the registration process, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft.

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. The registration is valid for three years.

marekuliasz / Shutterstock.com

marekuliasz / Shutterstock.com

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 21 Dec. 2015 to 20 Jan. 2016).

“We expect hundreds of thousands of model unmanned aircraft will be purchased this holiday season,” says FAA Administrator Huerta. “Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users before they fly so they know the airspace rules and understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly.”

The online registration system does not yet support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation – for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business. The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.

For more, read the entire rule online at http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/20151213_IFR.pdf


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