As planned, the Federal Aviation Administration has established its online registration system for commercial, public and other non-model aircraft operations.
The agency first opened Web-based registration for model unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators on Dec. 21, 2015. The FAA says it is now expanding the website to accommodate owners of drones used for non-hobbyist purposes. Before, these operators needed to register their aircraft with a paper-based process through the FAA’s legacy aircraft registry in Oklahoma City.
The FAA says owners who already have registered in the legacy system do not have to re-register in the new system. However, the FAA is encouraging new owners who are registering for the first time to use the Web-based process so that they can more easily access records for all the aircraft they have registered.
According to the FAA, the $5 process includes additional information on the manufacturer, model and serial number, in addition to the owner’s physical and email addresses. Like the model aircraft registration process, a certificate is good for three years, but each certificate covers only one aircraft.
In addition to registering their aircraft, the FAA reminds, operators of small UAS used for non-hobbyist purposes must also obtain a Section 333 exemption, a public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, or other FAA authorization to legally operate.
“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,” says Michael Huerta, administrator of the FAA.