What You Need to Know Before Undergoing FAA Registration
Drones are the new remote control craze. They are constant bestsellers in hobby shops and specialty online stores, and hobbyists, both young and old, are enjoying these nifty toy inventions. However due to near brushes with commercial airliners, the FAA, or the Federal Aviation Administration, has decided to impose stricter rules on these newfangled flying technologies. Consumer-grade UAVs are now obligated to register with the FAA.
Reasons behind the rules
Due to the influx of consumers purchasing these machines, the FAA was concerned with the fact that many of these individuals might not possess any schooling in working on RC aircrafts and secure-airspace procedures. There have been reports of drones hovering near airport zones while another broke down close to the White House.
Drones are pretty much simple to operate; however, they are not fool-proof mechanisms. There are a few factors that could go wrong at some point—its GPS might have been set badly, or poor propeller installation might cause the particular part to be dislodged while in mid-flight. Registering with the FAA is aimed to provide knowledge on flyers that might not have any bad intentions but might also not have perused guidelines that come with majority of drone merchandise in the United States. Registration will also allow the government and the police to catch drone users who are irresponsible pilots.
Drone hobbyists whose UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) weigh over 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg) upon take off, and are being used out of doors, are obligated to register with the Federal Aviation Administration. The UAS’s control panel can be tied or remote controlled. However, if you fly your drones inside the house, there is no need to register your drone. If you have plans to use them outside though, the law necessitates that you have them registered.
Residents in United States, 13 years of age or older who use drones, are required to register. The registration will also act as a certificate of ownership for drone pilots who are non-citizens. Registration will require the individual’s complete name, physical address and a valid email address, the latter which will be employed as the individual’s login ID for his or her account.
Registration requires a payment of $5.00 which can be paid by way of credit or debit card. People who have signed up are also required to renew their registration every 3 years and pay the official fee. The $5.00 fee, according to the FAA, covers producing, maintenance and registry improvement expenses which assist in confirming users.
Once users have signed up, they will be provided with a distinctive number to indicate their own UAS. With this, users are given the leeway to buy additional drones whenever they want without undergoing another registration procedure. In addition, should you decide to sell your aircraft model, you can simply get rid of its number. Users are also required to hang onto physical or electronic evidence of their registration for whenever they have plans to operate their drones.
Individuals who are into recreational drone use are not obligated to source anything particular with regards to their aircraft with the FAA, like its model. The registration data is connected to the registration number though, so you have to remember this important aspect. According to the FAA, the data they accumulate will only be seen by the organization plus the servicer manning their archives. Also, keep in mind that users’ names and addresses are searchable by way of their registration numbers. This is because drones and other related machines have a tendency to fly off track and in case a UAS lands in your backyard, tracking down its owner will be easier and faster.
Penalties for not registering your drone with the FAA
In case you have been pretty much a responsible owner and have made plenty of safe flights up there, it might be a tad tempting to skip the whole procedure. However, remember that the FAA has also said that failure to register might lead to civil penalties that can cost over $20,000. Criminal penalties might also include more than $220,000 plus a 3-year imprisonment.
Then again, if you have followed airspace rules, you don’t have to be worried over the consequences. However, many have voiced that penalties of over $20,000 for operating an unregistered drone, even if you have been doing it the entire time in your own place, appears to be too outrageous for such a misdemeanor.
A number of individuals have also spoken that registration may not really solve issues like risky and/or inconsiderate piloting. Then again, this is only FAA’s reminder to us that there are in fact, standard rules that one has to follow whenever they are manning UAS.
These are additional rules that drone owners must know:
- In case you are 13 years old or younger, you are required to have your parents, a guardian or anybody older to sign up for you.
- UAS that weigh over 55 lbs. need to sign up by employing a different procedure.
- In case you want to make use of your UAS for commercial reasons (this includes photography, videography and filmmaking), you are obligated to sign up with a different procedure.
- If you want to operate the drone outside the US, you have to sign up through a different procedure.
- Keep in mind that operating a drone or UAS near airports or other similar locations is strictly prohibited by the FAA. Other prohibited locations include Washington, DC, national parks, military bases and areas with heavy population.
- Do not operate your drone in places where it will not be visible.
In order to keep up and continue the fun you have with your drone, just remember to follow the rules—they are there to keep everybody safe. Being a responsible drone pilot means you will have more chances to enjoy your hobby in the days to come, in any (safe and uncompromising) location.