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FAA Announces all RC Pilots Must Register

FAA Announces all RC Pilots Must Register

CLICK HERE FOR AN IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM THE ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS!

The FAA has just announced that all small unmanned aircraft operators (read: model planes pilots) must register with the FAA by February 19th to avoid a $5 registration fee. The registration is good for three years, and you will be given a unique identification number that you need to place in/on all of your aircraft. Here’s the scoop from the FAA:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras.

The Registration Task Force delivered recommendations to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on November 21. The rule incorporates many of the task force recommendations.

“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.”

Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft.  Under this rule, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of any other UAS purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21, 2015 must register before the first flight outdoors. Owners may use either the paper-based process or the new streamlined, web-based system.  Owners using the new streamlined web-based system must be at least 13 years old to register.

Owners may register through a web-based system at www.faa.gov/uas/registration

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.

Owners using the model aircraft for hobby or recreation will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAS. The registration is valid for three years.

The normal registration fee is $5, but in an effort to encourage as many people as possible to register quickly, the FAA is waiving this fee for the first 30 days (from Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan 20, 2016).

“We expect hundreds of thousands of model unmanned aircraft will be purchased this holiday season,” said FAA Administrator Huerta. “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.”

The online registration system does not yet support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation – for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business. The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.

The full rule can be viewed here: www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/20151213_IFR.pdf

 

Updated: December 18, 2015 — 9:40 AM

60 Comments

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  1. Another Unjustifiable power grab by an over zealous government agency

    1. “…announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process…”

      The same Ponzi scheme administration that brought you ObamaCare, and the multi-Billion dollar joke of the year website, Healthcare.Gov, will now have a way to get a copy of your credit cards because you own a flying object that weighs more than a small glass of water.
      Whatever you do citizens, don’t make a large snowball and throw it outside because, by this rule, you are required to get registered and put your number on it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

  2. HERE WE GO AGAIN, OVERREGULATION BY THE OBAMA TEAM. MODEL AVIATION IS AND HAS BEEN A VERY SAFE HOBBY WHEN MEMBERS OF THE AMA (ACADEMY OF MODEL AVIATION) ARE INVOLVED. NOW THESE MANY HOBBY PILOTS WILL ENDURE ANOTHER LEVEL OF UNJUSTIFIED REGULATION BY OUR WISE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE ONES THAT WILL CREATE THE PROBLEMS WILL NOT REGISTER AND THERE IS NO WAY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE THE MANPOWER TO ENFORCE THIS RULE. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT OVER 8 MILLION SMALL MULTI BLADE DRONES WILL BE SOLD THIS CHRISTMAS ALONE. MEMBERS OF THE AMA ALREADY LIST THEIR NAME AND AMA NUMBER ON THEIR MODELS SO IN THE EVENT THE MODEL IS LOST, IT CAN BE RETURNED TO THE OWNER. I AM SURE PARENTS WILL FIND OUT ABOUT THIS AND WILL BE SURE THAT THEIR CHILDREN UNDER 13 ARE PROPERLY SUPERVISED, RIGHT. GOOD GREF, WHAT WILL BE NEXT. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN PUT INTO THE OFFICES THAT CAN MAKE REGULATIONS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED BY CONGRESS? WHY IN THE NAME OF COMMON SENSE HAS CONGRESS GRANTED BLOATED BEAUCRATS THE ABILTY TO ADD SO MANY LAYERS OF RED TAPE, WITHOUT CONGRESS APPROVAL.

  3. Does AMA membership qualify for registration

    1. No, at this time it appears that even current AMA members will need to register.

  4. what if you don’t have a drone, only planes?? it is sounding like it is for only drones?? from what one news report is saying?? it did not say anything about planes or heli’s?? someone better start clearing the MUD

  5. Thanks AMA, looks like you helped us tremendously. I wish to remain private. I’ve been flying R/C for over 40 years with not one incident, I follow the rules that the AMA established, and pay them $40 a year in dues.

  6. If you’re not in the AMA currently, do you have to register? I have two nitro RC planes. Do they need to be registered. It’s not a drone. Stupid government.

  7. Don’t blame the government, blame the idiots who keep flying their drones into the path of commercial and law enforcement air traffic.

    1. please don’t tell me your this stupid REALLY!

  8. As I read it, a pilot with multiple planes must register each aircraft.. Correct?

    1. No- you register yourself and put your identification number is all of your aircraft.

  9. I worked for the FAA for 31 years and I some some really stupid things. This beats them all.

  10. Yes because we know, Just like handguns, all the neerdowells and evil people will surely register themselves and put there info on the inside of their killing machines.

  11. More of Big Brother… good grief.

  12. Here’s an idea why don’t we require all our Government jerks to actually do something for the job instead of finding ways to get into our pockets and invade or privacy. This problem never existed until the Drone industry why not register them not us fixed wing flyers.

  13. “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.”

    Ummm…I’ve been flying responsibly and safely since 1972 without the Department of Transportation or the FAA’s help. FUBO!

  14. “Hi, I am from the FAA and I am here to help you!!” This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen! Regulation of RC Airplanes? Really? What a bunch of hog shit! Now our RC aircraft need an N number…………. Pretty soon the Govt will charge us $5.00 to register out toilet paper! Our Govt over reach needs to be stopped! Now!

  15. I sure do not understand: One paper says all RC aircraft owners must register and the official paper that I just read is specific and says “drones”. Which is it FAA or maybe you don’t even know. My models are not “drones”. Most are models of full size aircraft and not even models of drones, what ever that is. This is just another power grab by the Government.

  16. Taken from the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 SEC. 336. “The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
    may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model
    aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft.” ..see that FAA… ANY RULE. This is beyond stupid.

  17. So free small free flight aircraft are exempt from this rule?

  18. You can bet that the people that fly their “drones” into the paths of airliners will be registered and have their “drones” registered just as the hoodlum robbers and killers will be registered as robbers and killers and use registered guns. Yeah, that’s it. Problem solved.

  19. “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.”

    sure it does- where in the registration process does it include any kind of training and factual based knowledge to pass down to the newbies? I think the AMA covers that pretty good with its current rules and regulations.

    lets just call it what it is , registration and a money maker, it has nothing to do with training

  20. Late yesterday the AMA sent out a note to all members, encouraging them to hold off registering until either there is a decision in the suit that AMA has filed asking that the FAA be ordered to follow the “special rule” that Congress passed, or, failing in that decision, that FAA agrees to let us use our AMA # as the registration number. Go to http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/ to read more!

  21. The AMA just came out with a request that all members hold off on registering.
    Please contact your elected representatives and point out that the FAA is violating the law by requiring registration.
    The FAA is overreaching here and has angered those who could most help them manage the small population of really problematic fliers of GPS or FPV equipped drones.

  22. Big Brother now wants a piece of our hobby. This reminds me of gun control where only law abbiding citizens will register their guns and now only responsible r/c pilots will register their UAS.

  23. Is the FAA going to send the NTSB out to the crash site of my RC airplane or helicopter to help me discover why I crashed (in 30 years of flying 90% is pilot error). The next thing they will require are black boxes!

    1. Sound like job security to me.

  24. Why do they need so much money to reg. 5 dollars for every 1 million folks equates to 5 million dollars. To top it off they get that kind of money every 3 yrs. 13yr old kids and up are getting robbed just to enter electronic data!!!
    Pathetic fee should be a dollar at most per yr. !!!

  25. Why are they making the determination only now that we are all “aviators”? We’ve been flying our “HOBBY” for years and years and no one said we were pilots! Next they’ll say we need to get a pilot’s license to fly our planes.

  26. I think we are all missing the point. “Follow the Money!!” Who is really behind this? Amazon wants to deliver packages with “Drones”. I wonder if getting us out of way makes easier for Amazon to fly their “Drones?’ How many people will leave this hobby because of this. Kinda makes you wonder. Hey, “Never Give, Never Surrender!!”And May the force be with US!!.

  27. So the government is now in charge of our hobby…what could go wrong?

  28. To add more fire to the confusion, the AMA now says to do this…..As we proceed with this process, we suggest AMA members hold off on registering their model aircraft with the FAA until advised by the AMA or until February 19, the FAA’s legal deadline for registering existing model aircraft.

    Holding off on registration will allow AMA time to fully consider all possible options. On a parallel track, it also allows AMA to complete ongoing conversations with the FAA about how best to streamline the registration process for our members.
    Meaning again how slow this is moving purposely? Using us AMA members as a pressure pawns to the government? WHY??
    Meaning don’t register just now WAIT till we figured it out and then as the day goes by for the time limit to get the FAA registration for FREE then we find out the AMA has let us down and procedures of the government was slow enough to make it impossible to figure it out and then say that it is REQUIRED by LAW. So what I want to ask here is WHO has the final say the Government or the AMA in going through this registration noticed the NEWS media covered the topic of the FAA registration ,but as slow as they are hasn’t addressed the AMA press release to it’s members. WHY?
    I dearly hope the AMA and ALL it’s member take a BIG stand TOGETHER with the Local hobby shops and other people who enjoy this hobby and demonstrate(Like let’s have a flying protest in Washington DC yea right!!! with our planes and quads flying all over the mall and Capital hill that would be something to have the guys up there very worried imagine that ) that we have always regulated with rules and safety for a very long time and don’t nee the government stepping in and creating more of a mess and making money. The AMA has in place already registration of it’s members and the government need not create another one. It could though ask that in order to fly RC to be a member of AMA and follow it’s guideline and the government can look at it , thus saving the government money and extra burden on the FAA trying to enforce it thus leaving it to AMA to handle it.

  29. I thought a drone was an autonomous craft but what do I know. Guess I will eventually have to register my control line craft as well. Pee on the Fed!

  30. Why haven’t you posted the NEW comments of the AMA here?
    As we proceed with this process, we suggest AMA members hold off on registering their model aircraft with the FAA until advised by the AMA or until February 19, the FAA’s legal deadline for registering existing model aircraft.

    Holding off on registration will allow AMA time to fully consider all possible options. On a parallel track, it also allows AMA to complete ongoing conversations with the FAA about how best to streamline the registration process for our members.

    Saying HOLD OFF REGISTRATION with FAA . I hope this doesn’t jeopardize the FREE registration limit!! IF AMA doesn’t follow through VERY QUICKLY we could be BREAKING the LAWS and be faced with fines. Will the AMA pay for these fines if we fly and get caught even those we’re flying at a safe and sound manner and following the rules laid out by AMA and the FAA they can hit with a starting fine of $1,100 per incidence. Are the AMA members being used for a way of PROTESTING FORCE FOR THE AMA AT OUR EXPENSE?

    1. The new comments from the AMA are in a link at the very top of the page.

  31. Unfortunately, it is not the AMA, or the AMA pilots that are in question here. It is all the other UNINFORMED operators, (and I call them operators as they know nothing about aerodynamics) many of which do not even know what the AMA is or what the NAS is. With all the stupid things operators are doing with the UAS’s by flying too high, or trying to get a picture of a 777 on final approach for example, it’s no wonder the FAA got involved. How many uninformed operators will get a UAS for Christmas this year? Tens of thousands across america, all in the hands of the uninformed. I believe that all Kits, UAS’s, ARF’s, Engines, Motors, Radios, should have a listing of the regulations in their simplest form, so that all can understand that you could bring down a REAL aircraft with one of these if you do not use care in the operation of said aircraft.

    1. The day you can bring down a commercial airliner with a .55 lb foamie is the day Barry Sotero finally uses radical jihad to describe muslim terrorists.

      It is quite clear to me what is behind this and it has nothing to do with safety. Funny how no one cared until we got the ability to film stable hi def video remotely…….of police and government actions

    2. Agreed, Michael. And it is not just the ones operating near commercial aircraft, it’s the ones flying over populated areas, stadiums, etc. My hope was that AMA members who fly exclusively at club fields would be exempted.
      Again, it isn’t just the risk of bringing down a full sized aircraft, it’s the more likely risk of injuring people on the ground who are uninvolved or even unaware of an RC craft overhead.

  32. They don’t even talk about model rockets! A lot of those clubs have guidance and telemetry systems. Plus they fly much higher than RC aircraft.

  33. Debra,
    Please let us know if non-drone owners must register. I have been through a the FAA clap-trap and still don’t know.

    1. If you are an AMA member, recommend waiting to hear how things shake out. If you are not an AMA member and fly RC aircraft of any type, you should register.

  34. Really. I think this should only apply to the FPV fliers, and large drone, to include quads. Seems the problems started when FPV and drones started flying. Thank You.

  35. I noticed there is a $5.00 charge to register,but that will be refunded back on your card.So why even pay the $5.00 in the first place.

  36. For those idiots with drones who fly into there neighbors back yard hoping to see a naked sunbather have given us a bad reputation!! I hope the next time your looking for tits it turns out to be a 90 year old grandma and I hope your camera breaks !!!!

  37. Yes, I am sure that any terrorist contemplating the use of a model airplane to carry out a terrorist attack will first register that aircraft with the FAA. Yet another example of symbolism over substance from this administration. We are now not only going to blame guns for committing crimes but model aircraft for carrying out a terrorist activity.

  38. AMA FAQ’s http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/2015/12/17/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-drone-registration-process/

    The government responded to the media fanned fire of the citizens screaming about the morons with the quad copters. Governments normally like to do things the easy way. Instead of figuring out who is a hobbyist, who restricts their flying to model airfields, who is in it for commercial purposes, and who is a bad guy they do the easiest thing and that is require everyone to register. Will everyone register? No, that I can guarantee. The person who has never been in the hobby buys his kid a quad copter and then takes him to a park to fly risks getting fined $27,500.00 and if he is flying in a park in my county he can get a ticket for that too because you can only fly at the two airfields in the county or at a clubs private airfield… no flying at schools (unless you get their permission). I know the field I fly at will have the airport cops checking us for proof of registration. The airport is like 1-2 miles away and pilots are always calling the cops on us because morons ignore the rules.

  39. What if someone fraudulently uses my number on their plane and violates FAA rules and the Feds. come looking for me. How do I prove it wasn’t my aircraft and that I wasn’t flying the plane/drone?

  40. I’ve been following this for a while now. Seems the FAA has taken wording from the Public law that was supposed to exempt model aviation from FAA regulation to mean that Congress has actually defined model aircraft as actual aircraft and model fliers as actual pilots, thereby bringing us under their jurisdiction and control. One of the most recent items I read last night is that at this point CL and FF apparently are at least for now exempt. Same with any such ma less than 0.55 pounds. Apparently also is that if your (aircraft) is over 55 pounds, and/or used in a commercial sense, you and it have to be registered; if under 55 pounds, only you have to be registered and each flying vehicle has to carry your registration number on it. An E-mail about this issue I got from my former club indicates that the AMA has already put a court appeal in.
    This has been going on now for a number of years. Without the AMA action, this might have happened years ago, even before 2010.
    Looks to me like the FAA is trying to use wording in the law to circumvent both the spirit and the intent of the law. Power fight, a Gov’t bureaucracy trying to push themselves ahead of the Gov’t.

  41. They don’t care about the hobbyist. We are just an easy target to get something started. Crack the door and get a foot in.

    http://www.auvsi.org/auvsiresources/economicreport

    Where are these 70,000 – 100,000 jobs and 13.6-82 billion dollars coming from?

    https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/AUVSI/958c920a-7f9b-4ad2-9807-f9a4e95d1ef1/UploadedImages/New_Economic%20Report%202013%20Full.pdf

  42. Since the FAA now chooses to recognize the pilots of radio controlled aircraft into the OFFICIAL “PILOT” community, it must therefore be a natural conclusion that the 400 feet maximum altitude for small aircraft is now extended into whatever the “PILOT” can see and control.

    It also must be a natural conclusion that model aircraft exceeding 55 pounds are excluded from ALL FAA control.

  43. what’s next???? registration of my toddlers ”vehicle”, his tricycle???????? my planes are TOYS!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t plan to put my butt in one and fly it. I’ve been in this HOBBY for over fifty years!!!!!! Maybe it’s time to retire from it!!!!!! What ever happened to this issue agreed upon, that was between the FAA and the AMA on this matter!!!!!!!!!????????? I understood that the FAA was leave us alone and would not go any farther on any regulations, what have I missed!!!!!!!??????

  44. 1 more thing, what about the poor model rc’s and free flight guys that fly their model planes well above 400 feet!!!!!!???? TOO many questions with no real answers!!!!!!!! congress has ALREADY worked out this issue out with us and the AMA. Where does the FAA get off over riding what congress has already mandated. Chuck Berry’s song ”TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS FOR ME TO BE INVOLVED IN” Time for me to bail out in this hobby after 50 years. I’m selling out all my stuff.

  45. Do I have to register my paper airplanes? They could put an eye out and that person would have to use Obamacare?
    I have been flying responsibly for over 45 years. Had to have a radio licence to fly on 27Mhz (Citizens band radio) until CB radios flooded that band width.
    I have had my AMA number and name, address, phone number on my aircraft from day one when I became a member of AMA.
    If the Feds want my info, they can get it off of my information I have place on my aircraft, as per AMA guidelines.

    It’s these newbees (that are not AMA members) that are causing the problem that need to be informed.

  46. AMAZING! LASER LIGHTS HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST DANGER TO COMMERCIAL AND/OR GENERAL AVIATION AND THEY ATTACK RC. ONCE THE FEE’S START COMING IN IT WILL NEVER STOP, NEVER. HOW DOES THE FAA COME OFF WITH THIS AND CONGRESS SITS STILL? WHO IS PROTECTING OUR RIGHTS. WRITE, CALL WHATEVER YOUR CONGRESS PERSON AND DEMAND A HALT NOW!

  47. I have been following this issue for many years. But feel the new multi rotor craze has added fuel to the fire. With the new technology many have the misunderstanding of how it works , as well as the dangers we face today as a society. We have an administration who refuses to address the problem for what it is and stick their heads in the sand. Plus they have made many loyal Americans the enemy out of political correctness. The media and the government have made us to be the enemy. I have been an avid R/C modeler for over 40 years, and have followed the AMA rules and guidelines for safety. I have gotten into FPV as well and really enjoyed it a lot. But the media and government. But we have been demonized by them, I believe education and information are our greatest weapon. Many of these flyers I believe who have gotten into trouble have not been part of a AMA club or member. We as the modeling community can police ourselves by sharing information, and how we can fly safely and properly to others.

  48. Who is John Galt. These looters are just taking our money to justify their agenda at our expense. They take but do not give anything in return. For example where is the government program to teach RC safety in my town, there isn’t. My guess is our fee will go to pad pockets and policing agencies. Also where does the FAA get off making laws without congress or any voter representation. I did not get a vote on this new law…. Oh Well… Since I am now an “aviator” guess I will just call The FAA next time I crash so they can come out review the crash site.

  49. it all comes down to one thing MONEY!

  50. Having to register your small plane (even if it isn’t a drone) is pretty interesting. This is good information to have. Thanks for posting.

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