FAA hits 3,000 exemptions, 300,000 registrations for UAVs

January 25, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded more than  3,000 Section 333 Exemption Grants to allow individuals, businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies to fly drones.

FAA Section 333 exemption grants allow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators to fly commercially and provide professional services. Companies use UAVs for bridge inspections, roof inspections, movie and television filming, aerial photography, pipeline inspections, engineering, precision agriculture, mapping and surveying, wedding photography, real estate photography and videography, public event recording, security and surveillance, live video feeds, training, education, and disaster and catastrophe events.

First responders such a police, fire and other governmental agencies use UAVs f0r search-and-rescue operations, aerial surveillance, security and arson and fire investigations.

Registration for Hobbyists

Nearly 300,000 owners have registered their small unmanned aircraft in the first 30 days after the FAA’s online registration system went live. Owners who registered in the first month received a refund for the $5 application fee.

“I am pleased the public responded to our call to register,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The National Airspace System is a great resource and all users of it, including UAS users, are responsible for keeping it safe.”

The agency continues to see a steady stream of daily registrations. While the refund period expired today, the fee will still cover all the small unmanned aircraft that owners intend to use exclusively for recreational or hobby purposes.

“The registration numbers we’re seeing so far are very encouraging,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We’re working hard to build on this early momentum and ensure everyone understands the registration requirement.”

The FAA’s registration rule, which took effect on Dec. 21, 2015, applies to small unmanned aircraft that weigh between 0.55 lbs. and 55 pounds. Owners of these aircraft must register before they fly outdoors. People who operated their small unmanned aircraft before December 21 must register by Feb. 19, 2016. The current online system is only available for owners who intend to use their small unmanned aircraft exclusively for recreational or hobby purposes. The FAA is working to make the online registration system available for non-model aircraft users — such as commercial operators — by March 21.

Registration is simple and is done online. Once the owner enters the required information — complete name, mailing address, physical address and email address — they receive a registration number and certificate that they can print out. The certificate includes the registration number that must be marked on all aircraft that meet the registration requirement. Registration is valid for three years.

In addition to being an education opportunity, registration helps new flyers become part of the safety culture that has been deeply embedded in traditional aviation for more than a century, while still allowing for the recreation and innovation that are staples of American aviation.

To register, go to www.faa.gov/uas/registration.

This is posted in Latest News, UAV/UGV

1 Comment on "FAA hits 3,000 exemptions, 300,000 registrations for UAVs"

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  1. C. David Buchanan says:

    In fact there is no way of knowing how may Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) A.K.A. Drones were registered. The registration is of an individual person not a UAS and may be used on as many UAS as one desires. In addition registration requires NO UAS ownership at all. Registration involves filling out an on line form for free up to the cutoff date in January. After which a fee is required. So how may simply filled out the form and have no UAS? How many filled out the form and have multiple UAS? No one knows the answerer to either question. All we know is the FAA says some big number filled out a form…