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Own a drone? FAA has new rules

With drones becoming more prevalent these days, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a few of them flying about the sky. Even companies like Amazon have experimented with using drones for deliveries.

The more practical use is by hobbyists. Many are just out having some fun or trying to capture those hard-to-get photos.

But if you’ve been thinking about getting yourself a drone, there’s a new rule that you need to know about. The Federal Aviation Administration has made a huge change that all drone owners need to comply with.

FAA changes rule for drones

When it comes to drones, safety is always a concern. Not long ago, we told you how one manufacturer’s drones were dropping from the sky. That situation was a big threat to pedestrians on the ground and nearby property.

This new FAA Interim Final Rule addresses safety concerns for first responders. Here’s what we mean.

In 2015, the FAA started requiring everyone to register small drones. The agency mandated that the registration marking be readily accessible and maintained in readable condition. The rule was very flexible, allowing you to place the marking inside an enclosed compartment if it could be accessed without tools. Most people placed it inside the battery case.

The new FAA rule changes that. Now, drone owners are required to display the unique identifier assigned by the FAA upon completion of the registration process on an external surface. Owners are no longer permitted to enclose the FAA-issued registration number in a compartment.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. The change came after concerns were voiced about potential explosive devices.

The FAA said, “Law enforcement officials and the FAA’s interagency security partners have expressed concerns about the risk of a concealed explosive device might pose to first responders upon opening a compartment to find a drone’s registration number. The FAA believes this action will enhance safety and security by allowing a person to view the unique identifier directly without handling the drone.”

The change is still flexible. It doesn’t mandate where exactly the external marking must be, just that it can be seen upon visual inspection of the aircraft’s exterior. The easiest way to comply is to get a label maker, print out the registration number and stick it anywhere on the outside of the drone.

Pretty simple really. And if it increases the safety of first responders, it’s a good thing wouldn’t you say?

Plus, it’s not quite final yet. As we said earlier, this is an Interim Final Rule and the FAA will consider comments from the public about it. It will then review any submissions to determine if the provisions of the ultimate Final Rule should be changed.

The 30-day comment period will end March 15. Tap or click here if you want to submit comments and search for “RIN 2120-AL32.”

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