Over the holidays, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made drone owners register their vehicles. Since that announcement, more than 180,000 drones have been added to the FAA’s database, says CNN.
However, new reports say as many as 400,000 new drones were purchased over the Christmas break, meaning the figure now feels a little less impressive.
The FAA seem pleased with the progress but that hasn’t stopped them from releasing an app for Apple and Android to make the process even easier. The B4UFLY app will tell consumers where they can and can’t fly their UAVs based on your phone’s GPS location.
So if you’re thinking about taking your drone for a spin near an airport or over an area that may have temporary restrictions – such as an accident or crime scene – the app can alert you to your law-breaking potential. A similar piece of technology is used by DJI, too. Plus, for anyone who just doesn’t want a drone peering through the curtains at night, users of NoFlyZone can create their own.
The FAA has said that registration is based on an honor system, meaning it’s up to consumers to ensure they get their aircraft listed. As an added incentive however, anyone caught with an unregistered drone can face up to three years in jail, or as much as $250,000 in fines.
Registration costs $5, but the fee, says the FAA, will be refunded if you register by January 20. Registration is valid for three years, and hobbyists can register an unlimited number of drones.
➤ 181,000 drones registered with FAA in two weeks [CNN Money]