December 13, 2017

Drone registration reinstated by FAA

If you’re a hobbyist drone pilot in the United States, you’ll soon have to register your drone again.

After a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration deemed the FAA’s drone registration unconstitutional, the organization rolled out a new registration policy this week. President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Tuesday that included a section on registering hobby drones.

Drones pilots will once again have to pay a $5 registration fee, though other details remain uncertain at this point. It’s unclear whether pilots who had previously registered under the old system will have to re-register their aircraft with the FAA.

Attorney and drone pilot John Taylor successfully sued the FAA earlier this year when a Federal Appeals Court ruled the drone registration unlawful. Taylor cited Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which prohibited the FAA from enacting any rule or regulations regarding model aircraft flown by hobbyists for recreational purposes.

Under the previous registration rules, pilots had to pay a $5 fee and display their registration number somewhere on the aircraft. Taylor’s lawsuit was only applicable to hobbyist pilots, meaning those who flew drones commercially still had to register.

The FAA issued a statement regarding the latest registration news, telling TechCrunch: “We welcome the reinstatement of registration rules for all small unmanned aircraft. Ownership identification helps promote safe and responsible drone operation and is a key component to full integration.”