The FAA recently issued a much-anticipated Interim Final Rule regarding its registration process for small unmanned aircrafts (i.e., drones). Under the Rule, those who use model aircrafts – small unmanned aircrafts used exclusively for hobby or recreational purposes – must now register them with the FAA, and can utilize the FAA’s new web-based process to do so. Existing users of model aircrafts must register by February 19, 2016, while new users must register prior to using their model aircrafts for the first time. Drones not used for hobby purposes (previously required to register with the FAA through the same paper-based process as all other aircrafts) will be eligible to register through the new web-based process beginning on March 31, 2016. This Rule joins legislation that has popped up in many states, including Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Those state laws limit or restrict the ability of an individual to use drones to observe and/or record other individuals. Typically, the laws prohibit things like invading people’s privacy or conducting surveillance.
TIP: Those who use drones for non-hobby purposes will be able to take advantage of the new streamlined, web-based registration process beginning on March 31, 2016.