Over 45,000 drones registered with the FAA in two days

Steven Loeb · December 24, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4243

The FAA expects hundreds of thousands of new drones to be sold over the holidays

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it would be implimenting a registry for drones, one that would be "streamlined and user-friendly," would, ultimately, help drone owners understand the rules that come with operating one. 

Registration began on Monday and, as you may have guessed, it has already proven to be extremely popular. 

More than 45,000 registrations have already been completed in less than two days, the FAA revealed on Wednesday.  And it is expecting so many more due to the upcoming holiday that it actually shutting the registry down for maintance so it can handle them all.

Up to 400,000 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) might be sold during the holidays. It will be shut down from 9 pm Eastern on Wednesday, to 6 am Thursday.

The registration site will be taken offline tonight and Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern. We expect to resume service around 6 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Customers may use the system throughout the day on Wednesday before it is taken offline in the evening.

The registry applies to drones that weig more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms), including payloads such as on-board cameras. 

Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft, particularly those who will use the drone for commercial purposes, or anything other than recreation, as well as those who want to use them outside of the United States. 

Under the rules, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. 

The fee to register is really small, only $5, but still the FAA is waiving it for anyone who signs up before January 20th of next year, in order to "encourage as many people as possible to register quickly."

The regulation of drones by the FAA has been a somewhat contentious issue.

Earlier this year it proposed certain rules for drone usage, including restricting drones to daylight hours, making it so the operator of the drone has to be able to see the it while it is flying, and now allowing them to fly over people "not directly involved in the operation."

Both Google and Amazon vowed to fight these restrictions. 

Funding for startups in the drone space more than doubled in 2014 growing by 104%. Overall, $108 million was invested in a total of 29 deals during the year. The number of  deals has jumped very quickly in just the last couple of years; a total of just five deals were done in the years spanning 2010 to 2012 combined, while 11 were completed in the third quarter of 2014 alone.

Even more money was spent on lobbying efforts for the industry; $186 million in total, up from only $35 million in 2011.

If the number of people registering their drones is any indication, then those numbers are both likely to grow very fast

(Image source: priv.gc.ca)

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