Drones Aren't Just Toys, They're Regulated Aircraft

Jan 1, 2016

Credit Don McCullough / creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

New federal drone regulations took effect last week, meaning all personal drones need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

If you’re one of the lucky people who got a recreational drone for the holidays, you’ve got to do more than thank Santa. You’ve got to get it registered—or else face fines and possibly jail time.

Richard Jost is general counsel for the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems. He recently spoke to our media partner, KNPR in Las Vegas. He says the recent surge of interest in these drones made registration a necessity.

“Once the number of such vehicles that were likely to be sold as part of the holiday gifting became apparent, and people realized that there could be perhaps as many as a million of these small vehicles in the national airspace, it became a concern.”

Jost says the main reason the FAA wants people to register their drones is for public safety.

“This is one way of finding out who is actually operating, so they can reach out to them with educational efforts to let them know what the safety rules are.”

Jost says that drones pose a danger when people fly them carelessly into shared airspace, where they could hit planes, buildings or people.

FAA Safety Guidelines >>

Frequently Asked Questions >>

NOTE: This story was produced with information from a recent interview produced by our public media partner KNPR in Las Vegas.