The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released the latest figures of its drone registration program which began on December 21st, 2015. It is revealed that the program has succeeded in gaining 300,000 registrations so far. But is way behind the actual sales figure of drones sold till the end of 2015 which is around 700,000.
This clearly means still a lot of drones have to get registered or those 2012-2015 drone sales estimates are false.
On first week of January this year, FAA disclosed the drone registration numbers as 181,000. For the first month all those who registered the drones for $5 will get the amount refunded to their bank accounts. But from this weekend, the refunding policy of FAA will end.
While all drone pilots who purchased drones after Dec. 21 are required to register before their first flight outdoors, those who owned drones prior to that date have been given more time. The deadline for those folks to register is Feb. 21.
After January this year, if any newly purchased drones remain un-registered then the owner of the unmanned vehicle will face a possible criminal fine ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 and also may face the possibility of imprisonment for up to three years.
The gist of the rules set by FAA is simple-
- Simply don’t fly within five miles of an airport without permission from the tower
- Do not fly above 400 feet
- Do not fly at night time or in stormy conditions
- Always keep your drone within sight
- Keep out the drone out of no-fly zones like national parks.
Speaking earlier this month at CES in Las Vegas, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said that the actual number of drones owned and operated in United States will be available after February this year and will be disclosed to the media through proper channel.