Hobbyist Drone Registration Reinstated
BY Zacc Dukowitz12 December 2017
A new federal law firmly establishes the FAA’s authority to require drone hobbyists to register their drones with the federal government. Any hobbyist drone weighing between .55 lbs (250 grams) and up to 55 lbs. (25 kg) must now be registered with the FAA.
The drone registration requirement is a small part of a new $700 billion defense policy bill signed into law yesterday called the National Defense Authorization Act.
Back in May a U.S. court of appeals struck down the FAA’s right to require drone hobbyists to register themselves with the FAA in the Taylor vs. FAA court case. Since then, hobbyist registrations have declined dramatically, and the hobbyist registration process has been in a legal limbo.
This new law firmly establishes FAA authority for requiring hobbyist drone registrations.
We welcome the reinstatement of registration rules for all small unmanned aircraft. Ownership identification helps promote safe and responsible drone operation and is a key component to full integration.
– FAA Spokesperson, in a statement to TechCrunch
The Small UAV Coalition, which includes huge corporations like Verizon, Intel, and Walmart, has issued a statement thanking congress for “restoring FAA authority to maintain a national UAS registry for both commercial and recreational operators.”
We feel the same way. Reinstating the hobbyist registration requirement helps help keep the skies safer, and will be a positive tool for pushing the drone industry forward when it comes to ensuring that all drone operators are accountable for where, when, and how they fly.