FAA drone registration begins today

WICHITA, Kansas (KSNW)– – Drones are one of the more popular holiday gifts this year.

As the drone popularity keeps growing, so do the number of regulations.

Experts say it’s important to know the rules, including how to register the drone with the federal government.

Beginning Monday, all drones and unmanned aircraft will have to be registered through the Federal Aviation Administration.

This includes aircraft as small as 0.55 pounds up to 55 pounds.

Hobbyist Bill Roberts, who owns Wheat State Hobbies in Derby has flown model aircraft for more than a decade.

Roberts says the new regulations are being met with mixed reviews.

“There are many people that are in the hobby that are both happy and unhappy with it,” said Roberts.

Concerns over safety and privacy with the use of the unmanned aircraft have been one reason the federal policy has been put in place.

“There’s a huge knee jerk reaction that is not just involving untrained people who spend a few hundred dollars online and get them a brand new drone, and then the hobbyist whose been doing this for decades without any issues,” said Roberts.

You can register the aircraft by visiting faa.gov

It’s free for any registration done between December 21st and January 20, 2016.

Those who don’t comply with registering their drone can face a fine from the FAA of up to $27,500.

Criminal activity associated with the use of a drone or unmanned aircraft can net you a fine of up to $250,000 and even jail time.

>>Our sister station KSNW first reported this story

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