Your Drone and the FAA: A Simple Steps for a Swift Registration
You quickly grew excited about flying and invested in a drone or bought one for another. However, unlike ‘toys’ of the past, drone owners have responsibilities. For one, owners must register their crafts. To make things a bit more confusing, there is a different method for those intending to use a drone for commercial or recreational use.
The Federal Aviation Administration got involved in drone aircraft after the boom of the hobby. As of December of 2015, drones weighing one-half to 55 pounds must be registered. Owners must do this online and provide their name (if 13 or older), email, and home address. If all things check out, owners will be suited with a Certificate of Aircraft Registration. The registration is associated with a unique number that is to be placed on the drone.
Like a car, drone registrations expire so owners must update information or cancel after an elapse of three years. Similarly, owners must report instances of drone destruction, transfer, or sale. Don’t be mistaken; the FAA and government views drone ownership as a privilege. If you do not do as ordered, you can face severe financial penalties or imprisonment.
Once you’re cleared and your drone is labeled, you need to know about flight restrictions. For example, you must notify all airports within a five-mile radius of your flight location. Do you think it would make for a great shot to fly over a sports stadium or commercial event? That’s illegal! Also, the restriction applies one hour before an event starts and extends to one hour after. At this point, you may be a bit nervous as to where you can and cannot fly. Get peace of mind and use the B4UFly app for assistance.
It’s important for adults to decipher whether a purchased craft needs to be registered, especially if it’s destined to be a gift. Consult this guide for buying cheap drones at Droneenthusiast.com. As mentioned, all fliers above the age of 12 need to register the drone in their name. All younger children will require assistance since the online registration, though not complicated, is multifaceted. Furthermore, a $5 fee is required, so youths will need access to a credit card.
Part of the registration is an informal acceptance of the flying oath. Some of the immediate rules prohibit drones from going near or interfering with emergency vehicles, flying over sports stadiums, flying over the heads of people, and flying out of a visual line of sight.
Visual Line of Sight
At the end of the summer of 2016, the FAA announced a rule change associated with a flier’s visual line of sight. 76 waivers were issued, mostly involving episodes of night flying. Pilots use cellular networks to not only operate drones out of sight but maintain real-time contact with other pilots. Drone technology is just starting to push the limits of distance and how separated a drone operator can be from a model in flight.