Federal Grinch Ruining Christmas Drone Gifts

Paul Mayall/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Paul Mayall/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Those thinking of purchasing a drone for Christmas, either for themselves or others, may want to take a close look at the rules instituted by the FAA for flying drones.

If the owner of the drone fails to register any drone weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds, serious problems may ensue, according to the FAA, which states, “Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.”

Registration for drones began Monday online. Additional rules for the drones include:

  1. Drones under .55 pounds do not need to be registered.
  2. You need to be 13 to register, but there is no prior knowledge required, and the $5.00 registration free will be refunded.
  3. Selling a drone requires informing the FAA and removing the registration number.
  4. Serial numbers do not require registration.
  5. One owner with multiple drones only needs one registration number.
  6. Keep your registration number with you in case questions arise about your aircraft.

Another cautionary note: owners’ names and addresses may be checked using a drone’s ID.


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