FAA: Avoid drone registration schemes

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to warn drone owners – especially hobbyists — about people offering to “help” register their drones with the agency. The FAA Drone Zone is all you need – and it costs only $5.00.

There are a number of entities that offer to help drone owners and operators file an application for a registration number. Some attempt to mimic the look of the FAA’s website with similar graphic design and even the FAA logo, or suggest they are somehow “approved” by the agency. They aren’t – and you could be wasting your money.

The FAA neither regulates these entities nor will speculate on their legitimacy. However, we have recently received reports of vendors charging exorbitant fees up to $150.00 for this service. The actual FAA registration fee is $5.00. For that charge, hobbyists receive one identification number for all the drones they own. All others pay the registration fee for each drone they intend to operate.

We strongly advise you to avoid registering your unmanned aircraft anywhere but at the FAA Drone Zone. It’s the only way to make sure your drone is legally registered and that you’ve gotten your money’s worth.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States is a national authority with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation. These include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles.

The FAA’s roles include:

Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation

Regulating air navigation facilities’ geometric and flight inspection standards

Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology

Issuing, suspending, or revoking pilot certificates

Regulating civil aviation to promote transportation safety in the United States, especially through local offices called Flight Standards District Offices

Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft

Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics

Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation

Organizations

The FAA is divided into four “lines of business” (LOB). Each LOB has a specific role within the FAA.

Airports (ARP): plans and develops projects involving airports, overseeing their construction and operations. Ensures compliance with federal regulations.

Air Traffic Organization (ATO): primary duty is to safely and efficiently move air traffic within the National Airspace System. ATO employees manage air traffic facilities including Airport Traffic Control Towers (ATCT) and Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities (TRACONs).

Aviation Safety (AVS): Responsible for aeronautical certification of personnel and aircraft, including pilots, airlines, and mechanics.

Commercial Space Transportation (AST): ensures protection of U.S. assets during the launch or reentry of commercial space vehicles.