FAA Releases Drone Regulations: What you need to know

By Jamie Storrs | Monday, December 14

Because we want you to get the shot, without getting in trouble.

It might not come as a shock to you, but the team at GuideHire loves finding new and innovative ways to capture and share our adventures. That was the driving force behind the purchase of many a GoPro, DSLR and even more recently a DJI Phantom drone (yeah we know that Inspire 1 is better, but we are balling on a budget here #startuplife).

Yesterday the FAA finally stopped beating around the bush and dragging their feet on drone regulations by announcing the guidelines and requirements for registering drones in the United States. This announcement was met both with relief, as well as displeasure, due to the fact that while people are not pleased to have to register their drones, they are relieved that the regulations have so far been minimal.

Affected by annoucement are a wide variety of both consumer grade and professional products that fall between .55 lbs. and 55 lbs. The long and the short of it is that everyone with a drone that falls into this category needs to register, which is a hassle, but they have tried to make it as easy to do so as possible, even going so far as to waive the registration fee. Registration, which begins on December 21, 2015 and yet be completed before February 19, 2016, can be done online at: http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration. One weird quirk is that if you purchase a drone after the arbitrary December 21st, date you have to register it within 30 days of purchase and before your first flight. This however does not apply to the drone you already own.

The breakdown:

1. Registration is mandatory.

2. If you register in the first 30 days (by January 20) it’s free, but no matter what you must register by February 19, 2016.

3. If you buy your drone after December 21, you need to register before flying, but again, it is free if you do it within 30 days.

4. Currently you can only register directly with the FAA, which can be done here: http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration. They have promised to release a way of registering with third party apps later this spring.

5. You will need to provide your name, address, e-mail, as well as make and model.

6. You will be issued a unique number which you will then have to permanently mark (think sharpie or engraver) onto your drone somewhere that is easily accessible and ideally visible. Pro tip: you can hide it in the battery storage area.

7. For those of you hoping this was the break for you to be able to start freely using your drone for commercial use, think again. For right now this only applies to recreational drones.

The full FAA release can be found here: http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=19856&cid=TW378


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