The US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) has revealed that nearly 300,000 drone owners have registered their aircraft using the online registration platform before the deadline of 21 January. The drone owners had a window of 30 days to do the same. Those who failed to register their unmanned aircraft system (UAS) within the deadline, will have to pay a fine.
"I am pleased the public responded to our call to register," said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release. "The National Airspace System is a great resource and all users of it, including UAS users, are responsible for keeping it safe."
FAA also noted that the $5 registration fee would be refunded to those who have already registered and the fee that will be collected henceforth will be used "exclusively for recreational or hobby purposes".
The organisation noted that it will carry forward the momentum from the number of people registered. The first two days saw around 45,000 people getting registered and since then a "steady stream" daily registrations continue.
The registration rule states that the owners who want to fly their small unmanned aircraft (weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds) outdoors, have to get their UAS registered.
Those owners who "operated" their drones before 21 December will have some time left as they have to register by 19 February. Others who "operated" after 21 December must register right away before they fly them outdoors.
The present online rule is valid for drone owners using it for the purposes of recreation or hobby. FAA is also working to make the registration available to commercial operators as well by 21 March.
FAA believes the registration will be part of the safety culture of the traditional American aviation industry.