PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Drones are one of the most popular gifts this Christmas, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is rolling out a new program to rein in reckless drone use.
Increasingly crowded skies and reports of close calls with planes have led the FAA to require most owners to register their drones starting Dec. 21.
“The technology is getting so that they are not so much toys anymore, but it’s still a great hobby and can be done safely,” said Nils Granholm of Cavus Media.
Under the newly announced rules, all drones weighing as little as 250 grams will have to be registered. Operators will have until Feb. 19 to register the drones they already own, and any drones purchased after Dec. 21 will have to be registered before taking flight.
According to the FAA, children’s toy drones don’t need to be registered if they weight less than 250 grams. Most toys the FAA has identified at a purchase price of $100 or less have been determined to weigh less than 250 grams.
Registration requires a person’s name, mailing address and email. Each operator will then be given a registration number that must be displayed on every drone they own.
- More Information: Registering Your Drone »
Drone legislation was introduced in Rhode Island earlier this year that would limit drone use in the state as the technology becomes more affordable and more popular.