The Federal Aviation Administration will require drone owners to register them because they were deemed potential safety hazards.
Christmas may only three days away. But for shoppers such as Charlie Delgado are considering buying a drone.
“I have a neighbor that picks up a piece of mail sometimes and puts it on the drone sometimes when it goes to the wrong house and brings it to me,” Delgado said. “It's very interesting.”
The Consumer Electronics Association is calling 2015 the “defining year for drones.” Sales of drones are up 63 percent over last year.
By Christmas, the FAA estimates there could be more than a million drones in the sky. Part of the reason is because of low prices. Many are under $50.
It’s what prompted the FAA to put specific rules in place that went into effect yesterday.
“If you purchase one now, you have to register it before you operate the drone,” William Dunlap, who is a professor at Quinnipiac University School of Law, said. “If you purchased your drone before Dec 21st you have until Feb 19th to register it.”
The fee is only $5, but it will be waived if you register the drone within the next month.
Registers will have to give up some personal information such as their name and address. As an owner, people will also have to make sure each drone has the registration number that’s visible.
“Drones that weigh less than 8 ounces don't have to be registered,” Dunlap said. “This is just the beginning for hobby drones.”
While it may be the beginning, the new rules seem to be embraced by future owners.
“It should be monitored,” Delgado said.
People can be fined up to $27,500 and face jail time of up to three years, if they do not register their drones.
Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.