Have You Registered Your New Drone With the FAA Yet? Here’s How to Do It For Free
Did you get a drone for Christmas? Drones were expected to be one of the biggest selling items this holiday season.
The fun thing about drones is... well, they're drones. You can do the thing we all dreamed of as a kid: fly a device with a remote control that's also affordable.
The not so fun thing about drones is... well, they're drones. Anyone with enough money is suddenly flying an unmanned device through the air.
The FAA now requires all drone owners to register their "Unmanned Aircraft System" (UAS... which includes drones) over 0.55 lbs BEFORE THE FIRST FLIGHT.
At first, this sounded like annoying red tape to me. "WAY TO RUIN CHRISTMAS, FAA!" Until I saw my neighbor's kids unbox their drone, and immediately fly their drone into a power line. It could just as easily be my car, roof, an airplane (think about the potential nightmare for air traffic controllers or military personnel), etc.
If you've already flown, I won't tell -- but you just need to register before your next flight to be FAA compliant.
From the FAA website:
Effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors. People who previously operated their UAS must register by February 19, 2016. People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties.
Here's how to register your drone for free... straight from the horse's mouth:
Register before midnight EST, January 20th, 2016
and your $5 registration fee will be refunded!