It looks like Congress is about to make a decision that will likely not be very popular amongst recreational drone operators. It wasn’t too long ago that the FAA instituted a drone registration that required all operators, recreational and commercial alike, to participate. However, that position changed to only requiring commercial registration. Now it looks like the registration rules will be changing yet again.
The government’s registration system for owners of civilian drones would be restored in a defense policy bill agreed to by House and Senate negotiators.
The measure boosting aviation regulators’ ability to regulate the burgeoning world of small unmanned vehicles was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, a bipartisan compromise that is likely to be passed by both chambers.
The registration was imposed at the close of 2015 as the number of safety incidents involving drones soared and officials sought a way to ensure owners of the devices understood aviation regulations. However, many operators objected to what they saw as an intrusion into their right to fly and seized on language in a 2012 law that said drone hobbyists were exempt from regulation by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington overturned the FAA drone registration system in May, finding that earlier legislation passed in 2012 didn’t give the agency legal authority for it. A one-paragraph addition to the defense bill said that the registration system “shall be restored” as soon as the legislation becomes law.
Many will consider this a very surprising move when you consider that the FAA, after collecting over $4 million dollars in registration fees, was forced to issue refunds. They literally had a webpage where you could de-register and apply for a refund.
Do you remember this?
If you registered to fly your drone, but only fly for fun, you can now remove your name from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s drone registration database and get your $5 back.
The FAA now has a page on its website where hobbyist drone operators can apply for de-registration and a refund.
Currently, if drone operators aren’t making money from flying their drone and are just flying for recreation, they don’t have to register with the FAA. If you’re flying your drone for money, registration is still a requirement.
A federal court ruled in May that the FAA’s drone registration rules, which have been in place since 2015, were in violation of a law passed by Congress in 2012. That law, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, prohibited the agency from passing any rules on the operation of model aircraft. In other words, rules that restrict how non-commercial hobbyist drone operators fly.
Since first opening the FAA’s registration system in December 2015, more than 820,000 people have registered to fly drones. It costs $5 to register a drone, which means the FAA may have collected over $4 million in registration fees. But not all of that money is eligible for a refund, since commercial operators still need to be registered.
I’m not sure how this new move by Congress is really any different; isn’t it still in violation of the same law?
That being said, as indicated above, commercial operators still need to be registered. Furthermore, they need to be FAA Part 107 certified. If you need to get training, then learn from the best, with hands-on drone training. Hands-on training is the most efficient way to learn, and we conveniently offer our training in 50 cities nationwide. Learn from the best, learn from Drone Universities.