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Heads up: You have to register that drone of yours, FAA says

by Todd Haselton | December 14, 2015December 14, 2015 8:00 pm PDT


The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday officially introduced its rules for small unmanned aircraft (UAS), otherwise referred to as drones. And you should listen up even if you’re a drone hobbyist, because the rules might apply to a drone you otherwise use for fun at the beach or in your back yard.

If your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs and less than 55 pounds with a payload attached, and many of them do, then your drone needs to be registered with the FAA. That applies to plenty of drones that might otherwise be considered hobby devices, including craft such as the DJI Phantom 3 and the Parrot AR Drone 2.0.

“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes with 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.”

Own a drone? It can be registered online by February 19, 2016 for free. Anyone who buys a drone after December 21, 2015 needs to register the drone “before the first flight outdoors.” Registrants must be at least 13 years of age to apply online. Want to do it now? Go here.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...