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With Drones Dashing Off Shelves, New Rules to Know

Hughes highlights safety guidelines and FAA registration


Dec. 23, 2015, Palmer, Alaska – Drones are flying off the shelves and landing under Christmas trees throughout America, including in Alaska. Different sources estimate that between 400,000 to 1,000,000 recreational drones will be purchased in the United States by Christmas. Because as many as 1 million more drones will be in our skies, Representative Shelley Hughes (R-11 Greater Palmer), wants parents and new drone owners to understand the new FAA requirements and guidelines to ensure safe and appropriate use of these new holiday gifts.

Hughes urges new drone owners to review the short and user-friendly booklet written by the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Legislative Task Force: Alaska’s Drone Operator Safety and Privacy Guidelines. “It’s important for pilots and other Alaskans to know the safety and privacy rules for UAS. The Guidelines are easy to read and illustrated so that younger pilots can learn what is safe and considerate when flying their new toys,” said Hughes.

Hughes suggested a tip for parents. “If you’re putting a drone under your Christmas tree, consider printing a copy of the guidelines that you can find at www.alaskadrones.org. We want to make sure Alaskans on the ground and in the skies are safe,” said Hughes.

A new FAA rule is requiring all drone users to register their equipment or face penalties. “Drones are great fun, but owners now have a new responsibility to register their UAS, effective this month.” advises Hughes. The good news is that if an owner registers a small drone before Jan. 20, 2016, it is FREE. Registration after that date requires a $5 fee.

Go to https://registermyuas.faa.gov/ to begin the registration process.

Representative Hughes wishes all operators holiday fun with their drones. “Before you fly please remember to keep your UAS under 400 feet, away from traffic and crowds, and more than five miles away from an airport unless you have contacted the airport first,” said Hughes. “May each of you and your families have a very Merry Christmas and safe flying in the New Year.”


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