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FAA Now Documenting Drones

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- Thinking about buying a drone this holiday season? Make sure you get it registered. It's a new rule the Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday.

Starting December 21, most unmanned aircraft systems will need to be registered.

The FAA expects thousands of drones to be sold by the time this holiday season is over.

The new registration rule allows the government to educate flyers before they operate the drones.

Some people we spoke to think the registration is a good idea. Others believe it could be a waste of time.

All drones weighing more than a half pound must be registered starting December 21.

"If it could be good, I say, 'yay, go and do it.' If it is being used for good, they wouldn't mind registering it. The only people who might mind are those who are using it not for good," said Jacquelynne Adams of Gouldsboro.

If you already own a drone, you'll still need to get it registered, but you'll have 60 days to do that.

All other drones purchased after December 21 will need to be registered before first flight, except for the very lightweight ones.

"I would say anything you can fly out of sight should be registered somehow," said Douglas Adams of Gouldsboro.

He flies radio-controlled model airplanes which also need to be registered. Adams thinks the rule could be helpful, but he does have his doubts.

"What I am concerned about is that it might be another one of these laws that we make that we don't really enforce very thoroughly and that would be a problem."

The FAA claims registration will help ensure safety, both for those who fly drones for fun and everyone on the ground.

You'll need to mark your drone with its special registration number.

The cost is $5 and which covers your aircraft for three years.

Some people we spoke to don't believe that the registration and any fee will deter people from buying a drone. If anything, it might make people safer when they see one flying around.

Bill Wilbur of Carbondale thinks drones can be fun for people who use them properly.

"I think it's a good idea because that way they can keep track of where the drones are, who is using them, and exactly what they are using them for."

You must be 13 years or older to register.

As a way to encourage people to get their drones registered on time, the FAA will waive the $5 fee from December 21 through January 20. If you don't register at all, you could be fined.

Click here for information on how to register your drones.

3 comments

  • Alison

    So, just to be sure, they have to be over .50 lbs, is that the official rule? The problem with these articles is that they never provide links to where you need to go for more info etc, or where/how to register!!!! unless im missing something

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