June 15, 2017
A recent ruling in a US Federal Appeals Court has shot down a rule which required all drone hobbyists to register their drones in a federal database. Previously, all drone enthusiasts were required to register their drones into a national database as well as pay a $5.00 fee. As of the recent ruling, this registration is no longer required for hobby drone pilots.
The previous drone registration rule that was debuted in December of 2015 was ruled to be in conflict with previous federal legislation enacted in 2012. The 2012 ruling stated the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t have the authority to regulate model aircraft. In the most recent ruling, drones were proven and ruled to be classified as model aircraft. For the time being, this recent ruling will dismantle the FAA’s efforts to create and enforce a national drone database and registration system for recreational drone users.
An important distinction to consider with this ruling is that the drones which this ruling applies to are only those being used by recreational drone users. In other words, if you use your drone for commercial uses, you still have to register your drone as it is no longer considered a model aircraft but instead something used as part of a business operation.
So what now? For the time being, the ruling will stand and recreational users will not have to register their drones. The FAA has stated it will review the ruling to see if they want to take any further action (if any) moving forward. One likely outcome would be that the FAA will ask congress to revisit their 2012 ruling on model aircraft and amend the decision to exclude aircraft which meet certain characteristics such as maximum elevation, speed, or other qualifications.
For more information on the ruling, or to read the FAA’s statement regarding the US Court of Appeals’ decision, you can visit the FAA’s website here.
Regardless if you use your drone as a hobbyist or as a commercial pilot, it’s certainly worth it to consider starting a drone insurance policy to protect your investment. Drone insurance is there to help you stay protected in the event of a drone accident. For more information on drone insurance policies, get in touch with American Heritage Insurance Agency, Inc. today!
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