FAA Issues Small Unmanned Aircraft Registration Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced its Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft rule for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds-including payloads. The rule announcement follows the U.S. Department of Transportation’s UAS Registration Task Force recommendations which were released on November 23.

Under the new rule, all small UAS owners who operated exclusively as a model aircraft for hobby or recreation usage prior to December 21, 2015 must register their aircraft no later than February 19, 2016.  For those aircraft purchased after December 21, 2015, owners must register before the flight outdoor flight transpires.

The rule specifies that owners may register either using a paper-based process or online at www.faa.gov/uas/registration. Registrants using the website must provide their name, as well as a home and email address. Once processed, the website will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include an identification number that must be marked on the small UAS. 

The rule includes a $5 registration fee, which will be waived until January 20, 2016 in an effort to encourage owners to register as quickly as possible.