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SAVANNAH, GA –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a new rule requiring registration of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, Drones).  Registration begins on December 21, 2015, and applies to all UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds.

Industry experts are estimating that between 500,000 and 1 million unmanned aircraft systems – drones – will be purchased this holiday season.  Registration is a statutory requirement that carries a fee of $5, but in an effort to encourage as many people as possible to register quickly, the FAA is waiving the fee for the first 30 days (from December 21, 2015, to January 20, 1016). Officials stress that through the registration process, operators should be educated on the serious responsibility that comes with owning a UAS. Even operating a drone for recreation purposes can pose serious safety hazards to passenger aircraft if rules and regulations are not properly observed. 

 “I would like to remind everyone who plans to give a drone as a gift this holiday season to be sure to understand the potential safety threats these devices pose to aircraft, said Executive Director Greg Kelly. It is imperative that those who will be engaging in recreational drone activities understand and follow all FAA regulations.”

The FAA has strict rules about operating a UAS in regulated airspace, or a five-mile radius around airports. For more information, consult the “Know Before You Fly” campaign, and follow these general tips to drone operators:

  • Fly below 400 feet
  • Always fly within the visual line of site
  • Never fly over groups of people
  • Never fly over stadiums or sporting events
  • Never fly within five miles of an airport without contacting air traffic controls and airport authorities
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
  • Never fly near other aircraft

For more information on registering UAS visit –

 “Savannah has its own Academy of Model Aeronautics field and promotes responsible and safe remote-control aircraft operation, said President of the Tri County RC Flyers Club Bill Barbee. We feel that the better educated the public is on these types of aircraft the better off everyone will be. The club has been active in Savannah for many years and encourages new enthusiasts to learn more about drone safety and the operation of remote control aircraft.” For more information about the Tri County Flyers, please visit their website at –

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