It looks like there were close to 300,000 owners who decided to register their aircraft with the U.S. government within the first month of the initiative itself. The FAA’s registration rule kicked off on December 21st last year, where it applied to drones that tipped the scales between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds. Owners were required to register their drones before flying it outdoors, and each registration will remain valid for the next three years.
For drone owners who put in their registration in the first month, they managed to obtain a $5 refund on the application fee. Right now, the existing online system remains available to those who would want to make use of their drones for recreational or hobby purposes only, and nothing more than that. It is said that the FAA has estimated that approximately 1.6 million drones were sold last year alone, with half of the figure being purchased in the fourth quarter.
The reason behind the registration of drones by their respective owners? It would be a whole lot easier to hold someone accountable if something goes awry or wrong that involves a drone – be it an accident or some other event, at least there is a name attached to the machine from which the authorities will be able to carry out their sleuthing. Those who fail to register a drone could end up with civil penalties amounting to $27,500, where criminal penalties can include fines of up to $250,000 and/or up to three years in prison.