The Drones Are Coming! The Drones Are Coming!


Got a new drone this Christmas?  Before taking it out of the box and taking off, take a few minutes to check out associate Jacquelyn Matchett’s article summarizing the FAA’s new drone regulations or you could wind up permanently grounded…

Drones are the newest trend for young and old alike, but there are certain rules that must be followed in order to ensure a safe time that does not result in legal action, including registering your drone (details below). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said operators who fly a drone near a manned aircraft could face fines up to $25,000 and criminal charges. In order to avoid fines and legal issues, follow these rules:

  • Do not fly above 400 feet
  • Do not fly near people or stadiums
  • Do not fly within five miles of an airport
  • Do not let the drone out of your sight
  • Do not interfere with manned aircraft
  • Do not fly a drone that weighs more than 55 pounds

Also, this December the FAA announced rules for registering drones in the United States which weigh between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds. Registration officially began on December 21, 2015and if you already have a drone, you have until February 19, 2015, to register. If you buy a drone after December 21, 2015, though, you need to register before your first flight. If you register within the first 30 days (by January 20th), it’s free. The registration details are listed below:

    1. Registration is mandatory in the United States.
    2. If you already own a drone, you have until February 19, 2016, to register; but if you register in these first 30 days (by January 20) it’s free.
    3. If you buy your drone after December 21, you must register before your first flight; but again, if you register in the first 30 days it’s free.
    4. Users must be at least 13 to register online.
    5. The registration fee is $5, but registration will be free until January 20th. It is good for three years.
    6. Right now you have to register directly through the FAA. They will release an API in the spring (they’re targeting April) that the FAA will immediately integrate into the Solo app. Until then you will have to go to the FAA to register.
    7. All the information you need provide is your name, home address, e-mail address and the make and model of your drone. This generates a “proof of ownership,” including a Unique Number, which you must mark on your drone in a place you don’t need a tool to access. You’ll be able to use the serial number of your drone (found in Solo’s battery compartment) and avoid marking up your Solo.
  1. This registration process only applies to the hobby and recreational use. Business use rules still forthcoming.

Make sure to register your drone, read the instructions, and watch a safety video (link below) before you use it. This will help ensure your safety, those around you, and the longevity of the drone.

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