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News & Notes

FAA Expands Online Drone Registration

Non-hobby UAS operators can now register digitally

March 31, 2016

As of Thursday, March 31, non-hobbyist operators of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can now register their drones online. Before the change, UAS used for commercial and public applications had to register with the FAA’s legacy aircraft registry in Oklahoma City, OK.

"Registration is an important tool to help us educate aircraft owners and safely integrate this exciting new technology into the same airspace as other aircraft operations," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a press release.

Those who registered with the legacy system will not be required to re-register. However, the new online registration offers certain benefits to its users. Web-registered drone operators can access records for all registered aircraft through their FAA account.

In the U.S., each registered civil aircraft is assigned a unique N-number for identification purposes. However, as observed by Peter Sachs, the new online non-hobby UAS registration system does not provide the FAA-standard N-number. The new FAA system automatically generates numbers in a new, non-standard format.
While registering may have become easier, commercial drone users still have to follow the rest of the commercial UAS process, such as filing for a Section 333 exemption and receiving a Certificate of Authorization.

Register your aircraft here.
Featured image: Drew Halverson