FAA to require consumer drone registration from next week

New rule comes as drone sales are expected to soar

The U.S. government will start requiring owners of consumer drones to register their aircraft. The move, which has been expected, comes shortly before thousands of drones are expected to be given as holiday gifts.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which is responsible for aircraft registration, has rushed to bring in the rule as an increasing number of aircraft pilots report near-misses with consumer drones being flown illegally.

Under present rules, drones must remain under 400 feet in altitude, within line of sight of the operator, more than five miles from airports and away from groups of people, stadiums and major sporting events.

But that's not always happening.

Under the new rule, drones weighing between 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and 55 lbs (25kgs) will need to be registered. Upon competition, owners will receive a certificate and a registration number that needs to be marked on the drone.

In theory, law enforcement would be able to identify an illegally flown drone from the number, but the procedure appears to be more about bringing drone pilots into the aviation ecosystem.

The FAA said the rules are intended to encourage drone operators to realize that they are pilots and have the same safety responsibilities as pilots of manned aircraft.

The registration website will go live on Dec. 21 and anyone purchasing a drone from that date will be required to register before their first flight. People who have purchased drones prior to that date have until Feb. 19, 2016, to register.

Registration will require a name, home address and email address and will cost $5. It will be free during the first 30 days of the system to encourage early participation, the FAA said.

As for the teeth of the regulation, the FAA can apply civil penalties of up to $27,500 or criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and three years in prison for noncompliance.

When the FAA said in October that it was planning a registration process, it brought together a group representing drone users and manufacturers to come up with proposals for the system. The rules announced on Monday take on several of the group's recommendations.

The agency has also been criticized for coming up with new regulations after the 2012 FAA reauthorization act specifically prevented the FAA from imposing new rules on aviation hobbyists. The FAA said on Monday that the drone regulation proposal didn't constitute a new rule because its aircraft registration system has been in operation for a long time.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags drones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?