NOTICE TO DRONE OWNERS

A number of our readers may operate drones as a tool while conducting training, videography or both. It’s important that you understand and comply with FAA rules and regulation. There are a number of regulations in place. First you can not operated your drone within a 5 miles radius of an airport that is controlled. If you are operating near an uncontrolled field, you must obtain the permission of the airport operator to fly your drone within a 5 mile radius. You may not fly your drone any higher than 400 feet AGL (above ground level). You will also need to register your drone.

FAA Deputy Administrator Michael G. Whitaker announced on Monday, Dec. 14, that all small UAS owners must register their aircraft no later than Feb. 19, 2016. The new rule pertains to UAS owners who had previously operated an unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds including payloads such as on-board cameras, exclusively as a model aircraft The FAA will publish IFRs (Interim Final Rules) to the registry on 15 Dec 2015.

The FAA will open registration to UAS operators through a website that will go live Monday, Dec. 21 through which owners can enter required information surrounding their UAS, such as the operator’s name and information as well as the aircraft’s manufacturer, model name and serial number. Although registration will cost nothing during the initial 30-day period — open in an effort to encourage as many operators as possible to register quickly — owners will be required to pay a $5 fee after Jan. 30, 2016.

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