Etopia News posed some questions today to Ian Gregor, Public Affairs Manager at the Federal Aviation Administration Pacific Division, about their recently-promulgated regulation requiring owners of certain weight Unmanned Aircraft Systems to register their flying robots with the FAA. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: How many of these vehicles have been registered already?
A: We expect to release registration numbers after we’ve had a chance to compile them following the holidays. The registration system continues to operate smoothly and we are seeing steady activity on the part of aircraft owners.
Q: What is the deadline for registration of newly-acquired systems? What is the deadline for legacy systems owned before the regulations went into effect?
A: If you operated your UAS before Dec. 21, 2015, you have until February 19, 2016 to register your UAS. If you purchase your UAS after Dec. 21, 2015, you must register before you operate it outdoors.
Q: What are the penalties for not registering?
A: Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. However, our near-term focus is on educating people, not taking enforcement action against people for failing to register.
Q: What steps does FAA envision taking to enforce this rule?
A: The FAA, along with our government and industry partners, is engaging in a wide range of educational outreach initiatives to make sure people are aware of the registration requirement and what flying safely means.
Register your drone with the FAA here.