We know you’re excited to unbox that new drone you received for Christmas! But before you do, please take some time to read these important tips before you get started. Whether you are a novice hobbyist or a serious videographer, these tips will help you take to the skies safely and legally. We’ve studied drone safety and have been flying our Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) under FAA Part 107 regulations in northeast Wyoming since 2016.
This is Part 1 of our Drone Safety Series. Stay tuned for more articles to help you get started flying as a drone pilot!
Part 1 – Drone Registration
First and foremost, you need to register a drone before flying it. The FAA requires all drones (weighing over 0.55 pounds) to be registered, whether it is used for recreational or commercial purposes. That means even if you’re a casual flier who just wants to mess around in your backyard, you are required to register your drone. You can register your drone online at the FAA Drone Zone.
It’s quick and easy to create an account online, and it only costs $5. Once you start an account, you can register multiple drones under your name. When you receive your registration number, you should mark the outside of your drone with it (using a label or a marker), and also carry proof of registration with you when flying.
As part of the registration, you will need to decide what type of user you are – whether you’re flying under Part 107 or under an exception for recreational flyers. If you are flying for a business, a commercial enterprise, non-profit work, or for educational purposes (such as classroom instruction), you need to register under Part 107. If you plan to sell your photos that you take from your drone, or upload a video to YouTube (with the monetization tool turned on), you will also fall under the Part 107 regulations. If you are purely flying for recreational enjoyment, then you can register under the exception for recreational flyers.
The purpose of registration is to help educate drone pilots in safe airspace practices and operating remote-control aircraft. It’s also so that government and law enforcement officials will be able to track down drone operators if needed, and to return lost property to you in the event of a crash.
Finally, you should register because it’s the law. Failure to register an unmanned aircraft that is required to be registered may result in regulatory and criminal penalties. Please, help us all enjoy drones for years to come by enjoying them responsibly today.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or further discussion about registering your drone.