Buzz by this new drone rule and you could land in jail

Before the hit the skies, there are new rules to follow.

LAUREL, MD. (WUSA9) - Drones have been flying off the shelves by the millions this holiday shopping season. But before the hit the skies, there are new rules to follow.

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“I do worry about the newbies,” said Bun Heng Suong of Hobby Works in Laurel. “It’s an education process.”

The Federal Aviation Administration once again requires drone owners register their techy toys online. A lawsuit stopped the requirement earlier this year, but a bill signed into law by President Trump revived the rule.

Drones weighing more 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must be registered on registermyuas.faa.gov.

“Registration will help make sure that operators know the rules and remain accountable to the public for flying their unmanned aircraft responsibly,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta when the original rule went into effect in 2015. “When they don’t fly safely, they’ll know there will be consequences.” 

Failure to register may result in fines up to $250,000 and jail time up to three years.

“In general, the FAA will attempt to educate operators who fail to comply with registration requirements,” reads an FAA webpage. “However, fines will remain an option when egregious circumstances are present.”

Registration costs $5. Owners must supply their name, address, and email address, in addition to the make, model, and serial number for each drone they want to fly.

© 2018 WUSA-TV


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