On the heels of an alarming study spotlighting the danger drones pose to commercial aircraft, the FAA on Monday announced new regulations requiring drone registration in an effort to keep track of soaring ownership.
The online registration would apply to owners of small drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds, including payloads such as on-board cameras, according to a statement by the FAA.
“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiasts are aviators and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “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.”
The new rules would require drone owners to pay a $5 registration fee. Penalties go up to $27,000 for civil violations, $250,000 for criminal acts with up to three years behind bars. People, 13 and older, who purchased drones before Dec. 21, 2015, must register the device by Feb. 19, 2016.