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FAA Expands Online Registration System for UAS Owners

Commercial, public and other non-model aircraft owners of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) owners may now use the FAA’s new web-based registration process to register their aircrafts.  The web-based registration process, previously only available to hobbyists for model aircraft operations, will speed up the old process that required non-hobbyists to complete their registration through the FAA’s registry in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The FAA announced yesterday, in a press release, the agency’s launch of a new web-based registration process for UAS. To legally operate a UAS, owners are required to register their aircraft in addition to obtaining a Section 333 exemption, a public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) or other FAA authorization.

Prior to today’s announcement, since December 21, 2015, only hobbyists engaged in model aircraft operations were able to utilize the FAA’s web-based registration system.  Under the new system, non-hobbyists—those engaged in commercial, public and other operations—will now be able to register using the online system as well.

According to the FAA, model aircraft owners who have already registered their aircraft in the old non-web-based system will not be required to re-register in the new system.  However, any model-aircraft users who had previously registered under the old web-based system and intend to use their aircraft for purposes other than model aircraft operations will have to register under the new system.

Given the added features the new web-based registration system provides, including the ability to instantly access owner records of all previously registered aircraft, the FAA is encouraging new owners to use the web-based system.