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Deadline Nearing To Register Drones With FAA

Sean Sandefur
KMUW/File Photo

Anyone flying certain unmanned aircraft systems must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration beginning Saturday.

The registration applies to UAS, often called drones, that weigh between .55 and 55 pounds.

Any drones heavier than 55 pounds require a separate aircraft registration.

The FAA allowed those who purchased drones prior to the registry going into effect to continue operating them without a license. That grandfather clause expired on Friday.

Those flying a drone outside without registration could face civil penalties up to $27,000, or criminal penalties up to $250,000 and three years behind bars.

The national drone registry was started last year in order to “ensure safety for users, others on the ground and manned aircraft.”

Most toy or craft airplanes are often lighter than .55 pounds and will not require registration when flying them outside.

The FAA requires drone users be over the age of 13.

The registration process can be done for most drones on the FAA website for $5 and it must be renewed every three years.

Owners must register their drones by paper if it meets the following guidelines:

  • Your aircraft is used for commercial purposes
  • Your aircraft is used for other than hobby and recreation
  • Your aircraft is greater than 55 pounds
  • You intend to operate your aircraft outside of the United States

Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter, @SeanSandefur

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.