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Courts / Law

FAA Announces Drone Registration

hexacopter_drone_is_flown_during_a_demonstration__ap__alex_brandon.jpg
Alex Brandon
/
Associated Press
A hexacopter drone is flown during a demonstration.

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a plan for hobbyists to register their drones. 

It's aimed at drones that weigh between 250 grams and 55 lbs. This comes after there have been hundreds of reports of small drones flying to close to airports and interfering with manned aircraft.

The FAA said the registration process is an opportunity to educate people about airspace rules and also makes it easier to track down people who violate the rules. 

Leo Ondrovic, a certified pilot and professor at Saint Leo University, said drones are "great," but monitoring is needed to ensure safety. 

"The FAA stepping in and providing regulations that help with what is currently a situation like the wild west is a step in the right direction," he said. 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that drones aren't just toys to be treated lightly. 

"Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiasts are aviators," he said. "And with that title comes a great deal of responsibility." 

Online registration is free until Jan. 20. After that, there'll be a $5 fee. Registration begins Dec. 21.

The FAA anticipates an increase in drone aviators following the holiday season. There are plans to make the registration available to business that use drones early next year.

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