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Drones Under the Christmas Tree: The Present that Gives ...Your Info and Money to the Government

Written By: Christine Dantz

December 2015
Many Americans woke up Christmas morning with a shiny new drone under their Christmas tree. While this fun gift may resemble a high tech remote control airplane, the U.S. government sees them as a threat to security, which is why the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came out swinging hard and fast with some not so fun rules.

What's changed?

If your drone weighs between .55 pounds and 55 pounds, you are required to register your drone for $5 a pop. But, if you register by January 20, 2016, the fee is waived. Fail to register and pay your $5 by February 19 and the drone police will hunt you down, fine you, and maybe even impound your drone.

The camera-equipped quadcopters are fairly popular among hobbyists for photography and aerial racing. This is great, until you realize that in 2015, an estimated1.6 million small drones were sold. That's a lot of unregulated flying objects with cameras flying in the air above us!
What information do owners have to provide?

  • Name
  • Physical address (no PO boxes)
  • Email address
  • The drone's serial number

The cost of registration will go towards the estimated $56 million cost of operating the new tracking system through 2020.

These rules come on top of the regulations proposed earlier in the year by the FAA regarding drone operators.
It's important to point out that these rules only apply to hobbyist; commercial operators have to follow a whole other set of rules and regulations.

Back in the USA News Story: Drones Under the Christmas Tree: The Present that Gives, Your Info and Money to the Government.

The full details of the FAA's new drone rules can be found here.

Dantz, Christine. "FAA Releases the Drones!" February 1, 2015. Accessed December 28, 2015.
Shankland, Stephen. "Drone Owners Must Register with FAA, Starting December 21 - CNET." CNET. December 14, 2015. Accessed December 28, 2015.


Other Articles of Interest:

FAA Releases the Drones!

The Judicial Conference: Are Your Fourth Amendment Rights Cybersecure?

Amazon's Not Alone: Drones Coming to a Town Near You

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No, It's …a Drone?

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