Local hobbyist reacts to FAA drone rules

Posted at 10:15 PM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 00:15:38-05

At Action Hobbies in Meridian, drones are literally flying off the shelves.

As one of the hottest Christmas gifts of the year demand is high from customers.

“They go out about eight to 10 on a regular day. On weekends, more than that,” Sandy Rock of Action Hobbies explained.

The new rules imposed by the FAA for drones are nothing new to longtime radio control enthusiasts who have been flying model helicopters and planes for decades.  Hobbyists know to fly away from airports and to keep their crafts in their line of sign, but the simplicity of new drone technology means that new hobbyists may not maintain that common sense.

The FAA imposing registration on anything that’s over a half pound may be a rude wake up call to causal fliers, but several high profile cases of drone misconduct has put pressure on the federal administration to regulate the industry.

From flying drones in National Parks to having drones filming wildfire situations putting firefighters at risk, drones fall on the line between powerful tools and dangerous nuisances.

“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.”

The normal registration fee is $5 but the FAA is waiving this fee up to January 20th, 2016 to encourage operators to register.

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