Earlier today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its new approach to registration for small UAS. This approach is similar to the approach recommended by a task force focusing on the issue a few weeks ago. The highlights of the proposal are:

  • The new registration process established is only for hobbyists. The online registration system is not yet capable of handling registrations from commercial users. Therefore, registration for commercial UAS will continue under the rules for manned aircraft. Registration has been required in each Section 333 exemption granted.
  • The FAA states that the new online registration system should be enhanced to handle commercial registrations by Spring 2016—in advance of the release of the final small UAS rule.
  • Hobbyists are now required to register their UAS: Current operators are required to register no later than February 19, 2016. New operators (who purchase their aircraft after Dec. 21, 2015) must register before the first flight outdoors.
  • The registration can be completed under a paper-based process or the new web-based process.
  • Registrants will need to provide their name, home address and e-mail address. Upon completion of the registration process, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft.

Read the final rule on the Federal Aviation Administration's website.