FAA outlines official US drone regulations

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By Larry Banks

The United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that all drones between 0.55 and 50 pounds must be registered by February 19th 2016.

Drone registration deadline set for February

The registration fee will be $5, but until January 20th the money will be refunded, apparently to encourage drone owners to sign up. People will need to submit their name, home address, and email address. After that, they will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration and Proof of Ownership online, as well as a unique identification number. The number must also be marked on the drone, in case it’s lost and later retrieved.

Drone registration will open on December 21st, but it’s possible to submit the details immediately in order to expedite the process. Web submissions are currently restricted to those people 13 years old and above.

After the February deadline passes, the penalties for non-compliance will be severe. Fines will range up to $27,500 and criminal penalties could reach $250,000 and three years in prison.

The registration scheme covers general civilian drone usage, rather than commercial drones. The FAA also said it will prepare a commercial system for spring next year.

Drones have been a troublesome issue lately for the FAA, which is attempting to achieve the right balance between safety, privacy, security whilst still allowing the industry to grow. Companies such as Amazon for example have long been waiting on the FAA to decide on the commercial rules in order to begin aerial delivery services.


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