The FAA or The Federal Aviation Administration has come up with many safety guidelines governing the aerospace system. Most recently, the FAA has added one new rule, which requires small drone owners to mark the registration number issued by FAA on the outer surface of the aircraft. The said rule will be effective from February, 25 this year. As against earlier, owners and operators are no longer allowed to write these registration numbers in the interiors of the aircraft. Before getting into the details of the law, let us tell you that if you’re flying a quad which weighs .55 pounds to 55 pounds, you have to get it registered.
What is the new FAA rule all about?
Earlier it was possible to display the markings anywhere on the aircraft quite simply because FAA allowed the drone owners to do so. It was in the year 2015, that FAA first declared that the drones needed easily readable registration numbers. At that time, the number could be placed anywhere – considering it was in a readable condition. The rule was more flexible considering it could also be placed in an enclosed battery case – provided it could be accessed without the aid of tools. However, the concerns expressed by the law enforcement officials have necessitated the changes that we are currently discussing here.
Why has this new rule been declared?
In fact, it was the law enforcement officers along with the interagency security partners who voiced their concerns regarding the risk posed by the possible presence of explosives for the first responders who opened the enclosed spaces to find the registration number. With this new change, the FAA believes that checking the registration number will be a way safer proposition now. The marking can be written or just be labeled. Once can do it without handling the drone directly. The new rule does not really specify where exactly (on the exterior of the drone), the registration number should be displayed. However, it is imperative on the operator’s part to make it readable on visual inspection.
The Interim Final Rule
The Federal Aviation Administration has declared this law as an Interim Final Rule. This rule becomes effective even while it is open for public comments. The interim final rules are declared when it is impractical to delay implementation. It has been opined that the need to do away with the risk that the old rule poses for first responders far outweighs the minor inconvenience which comes with the changes in the rule. The FAA will definitely consider public comments on the justification of the new rule and review these comments to decide whether the provisions of the final rule should be changed or not. There is a 30-day window within which users can register their comments. The final date of commenting is March 15, 2019.
How can you Register?
There are three types of fliers as categorized by FAA:
- Recreational Fliers
- Certified Remote Pilots that include Commercial Operators
- Government and Law Enforcement
You can register online by paying something as paltry as $5 per quad. Beware of fake websites. Visit faadronezone.faa.gov. Registration is valid for 3 years.