The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has asked all drone owners to register their devices starting next week. FAA which is a National Aviation Authority of the United States is offering the registration of small unmanned aircraft systems for free for the first 30 days and will charge $5 on each registration after the deadline.
The registration of the devices has begun from today and will be carried out till January 27th, 2016. During the registration process, each drone owner should provide his/her name, home address, email address and phone number.
When the registration is complete, the web app will generate a certificate of Registration which will act as a proof of ownership including a unique ID for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the drone.
Drone owners who are using drone or unmanned aircraft vehicles for experiments, surveillance, hobby, or recreation will also need to register once and may use the same ID for all of their models. FAA has announced that each registration will be valid for next three years.
All drones/UAVs which are less than half a pound or 250 grams and less than 25 kilograms, including payloads such as on-board cameras, must be registered.
Under this rule, owners of drones or UAVs which were purchased before December 21st, 2015 must register their devices before Feb 19, 2016. But those which were purchased after Dec 21, 2015, will have to first register themselves before their first flight and that too before the above said date. Remember, the free registration period ends on January 27th, 2016.
A spokesperson from FAA says that registration will help them hold reckless drone operators accountable, which they hope will deter unsafe flights. The registration process would also put regulators in contact with drone users, enabling better education about drone rules.
Nevertheless, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), a model-aircraft group says that it will file a case against the Federal Aviation Administration, as in 2012 the same FAA passed a law that it will not regulate recreational drones.
But the FAA is undeterred by the response of AMA and announced that failure to register a drone technically carries the same penalties as failing to register a commercial aircraft, including up to $250,000 fine and imprisonment of three years for the owner.