WASHINGTON, May 24, 2017 - Commercial drones must still register, but the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., last week said that the Federal Aviation Administration’s rule forcing registration of recreational drones under 55 pounds is unlawful.
John Taylor, a lawyer and drone enthusiast, brought the lawsuit against the FAA, arguing that there is a clause in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act that prohibits rules against radio-controlled hobby aircraft. And the court agreed that registration or the $5 fee should no longer be required. The decision does not, however, stop the FAA from trying to prevent a person operating a “model aircraft” in a manner that endangers “the safety of the national airspace system.”
In a statement, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International said it was “disappointed” with the decision, noting that an unmanned aircraft registration system is “important to promote accountability and responsibility by users of the national airspace, and helps create a culture of safety that deters careless and reckless behavior.” The association said it plans to work with Congress on a “legislative solution that will ensure continued accountability.”