Small drones.- FAA establishes compulsory registration before Feb. 19th 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) annouced today that a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras.
The online registration system, now available at, applies just to small drones used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation, eg. unmanned aircraft used in connection with a business.
The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations for model drones devoted to non hobby purposes by spring of 2016.

“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.”

Free registration from 21st Dec. 2015 to 20th Jan 2016

As the obligation to register any UAS (hobby or commercial) with the characteristics established in the Rule is compulsory no later than February 19th 2016, owners may use either the paper-based process or the new streamlined, web-based system. The registration term will open on December 21st 2015.

©  FAA.
© FAA.

Owners of any other UAS purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21st, 2015 must register before the first flight outdoors.

The average registration fee is $5, but in an effort to encourage as many people as possible to register quickly, the FAA is waiving this fee for the first 30 days (from Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan 20, 2016).

As promised by the FAA in November this year, there’s no need to work with a “drone registration” company to help them file an application for a registration number.


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.

Registrants will need to provide their name, home address and e-mail address. Upon completion of the registration process, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft.

“We expect hundreds of thousands of model unmanned aircraft will be purchased this holiday season,” said FAA Administrator Huerta. “Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users before they fly so they know the airspace rules and understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly.

Image over the headline.- Model drone. © FAA.

Related Eastwind links:

First ever Droneport concept for development, by Foster + Partners

Intel invests over $60 million in drone developer Yuneec

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