Americans No Longer Required to Register Their Drones with FAA

Shockingly, the drone industry is not happy about the ruling.

The Federal Court in Washington DC has decided that Americans are no longer required to register their drones with the Federal Aviation Administration if bought for non-commercial use.

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The Ruling

According to a federal court in Washington DC, a decision has been issued stating that if an American buys a drone in the US to fly non-commercially, they no longer need to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The court reportedly ruled that the FAA’s registration requirements, which have been implemented since 2015, were in violation of a law that has been in place since 2012. The 2012 law, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, forbid the FAA from implementing any rules that “restricted how non-commercial hobbyist drone operators fly.”

Ever since the FAA’s registration law was in place, over 820,000 people have registered to non-commercially fly drones.

John Taylor, the drone enthusiast who won the case, filed the lawsuit against the FAA’s regulations in January 2016.

Comments on the Court Order 

The drone industry is surprisingly against the ruling: In an email to Recode, Brendan Schulman, the DJI’s head of policy, said, “The FAA’s innovative approach to drone registration was very reasonable, and registration provides for accountability and education to drone pilots.”

“I expect the legal issue that impedes this program will be addressed by cooperative work between the industry and policymakers.”

Lisa Ellman, a Hogan Lovells attorney and specialist on drone regulation said: “The goal of the registration rule was to assist law enforcement and others to enforce the law against unauthorized drone flights, and to educate hobbyists that a drone is not just a toy and operators need to follow the rules. These are worthy goals, so if this ruling stands it wouldn’t surprise us to see a legislative response here.”