The Federal Aviation Administration has announced its new registration program for owners of “small unmanned aircraft,” known to most as drones. The program will require owners to register all drones weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds, including payloads such as on-board cameras. A short list of examples has been compiled by the FAA — for instance, Parrot’s Bebop Drone must be registered under the new program. The normal registration fee is $5, but that will be waived for owners who register within the first 30 days (Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan. 20, 2016).
Those who already own a drone required for registration must register by Feb. 19, 2016. Anyone purchasing a drone after Dec. 21 will have to register before taking the drone on its first outdoor flight. The FAA notes that “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.” You must be 13 to register, and can do so through a paper system or online at http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/, starting next Monday, Dec. 21.