For the latest update from the FAA regarding drone rules and regulations as of July, 2016, click here.
Drones are not only confined to their military uses that we all have come to know so well in this past decade. The drones get their name from the fact that their use does not require any direct human factor rather they are flown remotely through radio. This is the reason that these drones are more appropriately called by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The use of these drones range from a hobby and toy to photography as well. The popularity of these UAS has been rising exponentially as humans have a tendency of being greatly enamoured by new technology quite readily, as in the case of the hover board. Due to this rising popular demand the expected sale of drones during the Christmas was predicted to be around 1 million by the FAA. This high number appeared to be troubling for the FAA as they issued a mandatory registration of all the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Why the need for registration?
The reason for putting the registration process into effect was not only the concerns for United States airspace, which is one of the busiest, but also the privacy of its citizens. The registration, therefore, is an attempt on behalf of the FAA to make sure the integration of the UAS is done in a safe manner and that these drones, including the model drones, are flown safely in accordance with the rules stated by the FAA.
Conditions for Registration
The FAA announced that the drones and quadcopters which weigh more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds
have to be registered. The registration is a simple affair and does not take too long. The registration cost is $5 and is valid up to three years but there is a condition that the owner must be a US citizen and above 13 years of age. The registration can be done at http://registermyuas.faa.gov/
The whole process only requires the owner to give their full name, email and mailing address. The method of registration, however, does differ according to weight of the drone and the nationality of the owner. Lighter drones can be registered online but the heavier one’s, which weigh more than 55 pounds, have to be registered through proper paper work. The US nationals can use the FAA’s online registration but the non-US citizens have to register through a different method. The registration number provided later on has to be printed upon each of the owned drones.
The FAA requires that the registered drones must be marked with the registration number in a manner which is visible. For this reason the drone stickers come into play. These are sold on numerous websites and all you need to do is pay and state your registration number after that printing them in the form of vinyl sticker is really easy. These stickers can cost around $15 which is considerably less than the fine of $27,000 that is imposed if any drone is found without a registration number. For some cool nice stickers you can visit http://www.spacecitydrones.com/stickers/
As an unregistered drone is illegal therefore penalties are imposed for any unregistered drone which is found flying. The penalties could include 3 days incarceration or monetary fine. The certificate provided by the FAA to the registered people can save them from the brunt of the law. According to the FAA website the registration was commenced on 21st
December, 2015 and as a special offer FAA waived the fee of $5 for the first month. In the case of people who were in possession of a drone prior to 21st
of December the deadline was set to be on19 February, 2016.
Rules and Drone Laws
The civil and criminal penalties are put in place to avoid safety risk, privacy invasion and illegal uses. Drones cannot be used everywhere and anywhere.
- They cannot be used in DC, National Parks, Power stations or Airports.
- Can’t be flown higher than 400 feet.
- Have to remain 25 feet away from people, vehicles or vulnerable property
- Pictures cannot be taken without consent and neither in an area where privacy is expected.
- If flown near five miles of an airport the authorities have to be informed beforehand.
- The use of drone in a public place is strictly prohibited.
- It is required that the drone owner must consult and check any local laws especially if flown near private property.
- It is advised not to fly drones in a bad weather.
- Drones must be flown in the manner that they remain visible to the operator.
- The operator must make all the safety checks before using the drone.
- Must avoid aircrafts and other forms of transportation.
- Must not be flown under influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Must follow all community safety guidelines developed by a number of organizations.
Rules and laws sound tough before you follow, but once you jump into the river, you enjoy a smooth hurdle free flow.