Did you receive a drone as a holiday present this year? According to estimates from the Consumer technology association, around 1.6 million drones will be sold this holiday season. However, whether you got one under the tree or brought one for yourself, here are some things that you should remember.
If you are in the U.S.A, Drones have to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The registration process includes getting an identification number for the drone, which would be linked to the owners name and address along with a payment of a $5 fee.
“Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users before they fly so they know the airspace rules and understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a press note.
The FAA is strict with matters regarding to drones and if those that weigh more than 0.55 pounds are found unregistered there will be civil and criminal penalties incurred including jail time for the UAV’s owner.
Another important thing that all drone owners should know is the areas to avoid flying your UAV around where you live. There are some specific areas and locations where drones are prohibited including around airports, sports stadiums, and places where wildfires are reported. There are also other localities within the U.S.A itself which are no-drone zones including Washington D.C.
Similarly it may also be a good idea to avoid flying your drones near very crowded areas and over large groups of people. While there are no regulations governing flying your drones over private residences, it can be smart to avoid the complaining neighbor’s house or the lawn of the old lady who may easily get scared.
Sheppard Air Force Base, which is a United States Air Force base located five miles north of the central business district of Wichita Falls, in Wichita County, Texas recently sent out information regarding the regulations governing drones.
“Drones are not authorized at all on base, per order of the base commander and Federal Aviation Administration rules,” Capt Hollis Troxel, SAFB 80th Operations Support Squadron airfield operations flight commander, said.
Similarly the base also said that if a person wishes to fly a UAV then they should contact the SAFB control tower. Other military bases have similar rules. If the military spots unauthorized drones on the base or nearby, then the drone will be seized and further action would be taken against the owner of the UAV
“The FAA regulations apply to everybody from a 10-year-old kid in his yard to contractors or businesses,” Capt Hollis Troxel said adding that the restrictions make it safe for aircrafts and pilots and are in place for security reasons.
A drone, while it may be a small device in comparison to a huge aircraft can be life threatening to pilots and cause severe damages. Drones are complicated devices and can now even perform tasks that may seem difficult for it. We hope you enjoy your new drone safely and securely.
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