A couple of weeks ago, I bought my first drone: a DJI Mavic Pro. I’d been eyeing one for months, trying to decide if it was worth it and if I could justify its use for my business. I pulled the trigger right after Thanksgiving, have been trying to learn all of the rules about using it, and have been studying for the FAA Part 107 test ever since. And there are a lot of rules. And one of those rules is about to change — again— thanks to a bill President Trump signed yesterday that requires all drone flyers in the U.S., including hobbyists, to register with the FAA. Back in 2015, the FAA issued a rule that required all hobbyists to register their drones with the agency. It was a relatively painless process: you just give your name and contact information, pay $5, and you get an ID number to put on your drone. But that rule was overturned by a federal judge in May, and since then it was unnecessary to register with the FAA if you weren’t flying for commercial purposes.
That rule was reinstated yesterday with the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which Trump signed into law, and now all hobbyists (and, if I’m not mistaken, all commercial flyers as well) will have to register with the FAA.
Navigating all of the rules relating to flying drones legally and safely isn’t always easy, especially when they keep changing. But, it’s understandable why the rules exist. Drone sales are increasing quickly, and are expected to double by 2020, and that means that without some sort of framework in place, there would be a lot of little electronic birds floating around without anything to hold them accountable.
What do you think of this rule reinstatement? Or about the rules surrounding drone use in general? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below, and let us know whether you fly for fun or for business.
[via The Hill]