Thanks to a Court of Appeals decision several weeks ago, the FAA’s Small UAS Registration for drone hobbyists is now officially dead. A case brought by model aircraft pilot and lawyer John A. Taylor has prevailed over what was essentially an illegal registration requirement. The Congress has at least one bill pending to replace the now-defunct registry and may decide to require hobby owner registration in the future.
The court’s decision invalidated the registration requirement as it applies to certain model aircraft under section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Owners whose aircraft are in compliance with section 336 are not required to register. However, Owners of all other small unmanned aircraft, not operated exclusively in compliance with section 336 must register their drones. The FAA continues to encourage voluntary registration of all owners of small unmanned aircraft.
We will, of course, keep updating this story as it develops in the future. Hobby Drones are a fast-growing industry which we and our readers really enjoy. We always encourage all owners to follow their state and local laws whenever operating such devices in the public. Use appropriate care and keep flying!
FAA Press Release (link expired)
Thanks to DJI Technology Co. Ltd. for photos.