Did Santa deliver a drone this year? If so, Iowa City Airport Operations Specialist Michael Tharp reminds you that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that it be registered -- and if you do so by Jan. 20, you’ll save a registration fee.

Small unmanned aircraft (UAS) enthusiasts are considered aviators by the FAA. Therefore, drones and model aircraft that weigh between 0.55 and 55 pounds must be registered to ensure safe and responsible operation that will protect the owner / operator, others on the ground, and manned aircraft. If you operated your USA before Dec. 21, 2015, the deadline to register is Feb. 19, 2016. If your UAS was purchased after Dec. 21, you must register it before you operate it outdoors.

Owners may register through a user-friendly web-based system at www.faa.gov/uas/registration. The normal registration fee is $5, but in an effort to encourage people to register quickly, the FAA is waiving this fee through Jan. 20, 2016.

Registrants must be at least 13 years old, and will need to provide their name, home address and e-mail address. Upon completion of the registration process, a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership will be generated that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft. Owners using the model aircraft for hobby or recreation will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAS. The registration is valid for three years.

The online registration system does not yet support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation – for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business. The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.

Additional questions may be answered by www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs. The full rule can be viewed at www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/12/16/2015-31750/registration-and-....


Date of publication

Thursday, January 07, 2016