New FAA Flight Registration Requirements

-1On the 21st of December 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandated that recreational/hobbyist owners/operators of unmanned aircrafts (i.e. Drones) weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds register their drones before flying them outdoors.

This weight category includes ALL previous and current DJI makes and models.

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For recreational operators, the FAA will charge $5 per person for registration, but will refund that amount for operators who register in the first 30 days – by January 20, 2016. Registration is valid for three years, after which it will need to be renewed for $5.

Drone operators who purchased their aircraft before the mandate was released on December 21st, 2015 are granted a grace period to register your device by February 19th, 2016.

If you are a commercial operator, this new online registration system – aimed at hobbyist and recreational drone operators – is not available for you yet, and may not be until March 2016. The FAA currently authorizes the use of drones for commercial or business purposes on a case-by-case basis. You may not fly your drone for commercial purpose without the express permission from the FAA. You should check with the FAA for further determination as to what constitutes a commercial or business use of small drones.

All registered operators will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration containing a unique registration number that must be affixed by means such as permanent marker, label, or engraving to all drones before operating them outdoors. The number must be legible and accessible without the use of tools, but may be placed in a compartment. If you are flying outdoors, you will need to have either an electronic or paper version of your registration certificate and to show it to authorities that may ask for it.

DigitalFestDay1 (14 of 26)Drone registration will enable the FAA to trace aircrafts more easily in the event of a security or safety incident, and to help return lost aircrafts. In general, an accountability mechanism is desirable because it helps assure the public that drones are not being misused. Registering is just one step in being a responsible ‘drone’ operator.

If you do not register your drone, the FAA may assess civil penalties, and there is a chance of criminal penalties as well. We expect the FAA, consistent with its general enforcement and compliance philosophy, to engage in education and warnings before resorting to penalties, and for penalties to be commensurate with the nature of the violation, even though the theoretical maximum penalties can be very high.

This information has been provided by the FAA and DJI, Inc.

December 2015

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