Mandatory drone registration begins

Randy Slavin, Founder & Festival Director of NYC Drome Film Festival, discusses the guidelines for registering your drone.

- Owners of many small drones and model airplanes will have to register them with the government. The Federal Aviation Administration announced the requirement Monday in response to increasing reports of drones flying near manned aircraft and airports.

The requirement covers aircraft weighing from a half pound to 55 pounds. Drone owners who are 13 and older will have to register on an FAA website that's available starting Dec. 21. The FAA expects parents to register for younger children.

Registration will cost $5, but the fee will be waived for the first 30 days. Owners will have to mark aircraft with an identification number.

Registrants will need to provide their name, home address and e-mail address. Upon completion of the registration process, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft.

Owners using the model aircraft for hobby or recreation will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAS. The registration is valid for three years.

The online registration system does not yet support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation - for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business. The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.

Those who got drones before Dec. 21 must register by Feb. 19. People who buy them later must register before their first outdoor flight.

The full rule can be viewed here: www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/20151213_IFR.pdf

With the Associated Press

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