Buying that toy drone for little Danny this Christmas? You’ll likely have to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration, effective Dec. 21.
New rules issued Monday require online registration for all small drones weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds. The fee is $5 and is refundable if the drone is registered between Dec. 21 and Jan. 20.
“Many of the drones we sell will have to be registered,” says Robert Clark, a manager at HobbyTown, at 8032 W. Broad St. He says he’s seen no sign of sales diminishing because of the new rules.
Toy drones for sale online include the Riviera RC Pathfinder Hexicopter Drone with camera, which goes for $359.99. A cheaper drone is the Traxxas XO-1 RC supercar which can fly for 10 minutes and costs $99.95.
In general, toy drones range from $50 to $1,000.
New FAA rules also require operators to fly their drones no higher than 400 feet and not within five miles of an airport. They are urged to avoid crowded areas.
In the past year the number of near misses between drones and aircraft has risen dramatically, the FAA reports.