Friday is deadline for drone registration with FAA

A hexacopter drone. is flown in Cordova, Md. Pilot reports of drone sightings so far this year are more than double last year, the Federal Aviation Administration reported Thursday. There have been more than 650 reports this year by pilots of unmanned aircraft flying near manned aircraft, according to the FAA. There were 238 drone sightings in all of 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WICHITA, Kansas – So many people from farmers to hobbyists are taking to the skies with drones. Friday is the deadline for those pilots to register.

An estimated 1 million drones were sold for the holidays, however only 300,000 were registered in the first month since the rule took effect in late December.

Registering is a simple process, costing only $5 through the FAA, but the financial ramifications for not registering are steep. Penalties can go up to $27,000 for civil penalties, criminal fines up to $250,000 and even jail time.

Officials with the FAA say the main priority is safety and giving people information on how they should properly use their drones.

“We want to raise public awareness, for many operators of unmanned aircraft, particularly hobbyists, they may not be aware of what the rules are,” said Michael Huerta with the FAA.

All drones and unmanned aircraft will have to be registered, this includes aircraft as small as 0.55 pounds up to 55 pounds. If you need to register your drone, you can do so on the FAA website.

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