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Federal Court Swats Down Drone Registration Requirement

A federal court has ruled against the congressional decision to force the registration of non-commercial drones.

by / May 19, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

A federal court decision handed down May 19 flies in the face of congressional rules requiring the registration of non-commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The drone rules that have been in place since late 2015 as part of the 2012 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act required hobbyists to register their devices and pay a nominal $5 registration fee.

The goal of this, Attorney Lisa Ellman told Recode, was to "assist law enforcement and others to enforce the law against unauthorized drone flights, and to educate hobbyists that a drone is not just a toy and operators need to follow the rules. These are worthy goals, so if this ruling stands, it wouldn't surprise us to see a legislative response here."

The rules also sought to better track civilian drones, especially in cases where the operator or devices violated protected airspace or were used in the commission of a crime.

Since the regulations went into effect in December 2015, Recode reports that more than 820,000 people have registered their UAVs with the federal agency.

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