New rules for drones near Chicago-area airports
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) now requires all drones and unmanned aircraft be registered and prohibits their operation within five miles of any U.S. airport, including Chicago Executive, Chicago O'Hare or Chicago DuPage airports.
While drones are fun to fly and allow owners to observe, record and photograph scenery from above, they are also a hazard in the airways.
In addition, drones must be registered before their first flight. That mandate went into effect Dec. 21, and includes recreational and hobbyist models. The FAA has provided a webpage for online registration to make it easy for owners to register drones and other unmanned aircraft (UAS).
To register a UAS at http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/, the owner must be over the age of 13, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and the UAS must weigh between 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. The owner will need an email address, credit or debit card and a physical address. If the mailing address is different than the physical address, the owner will also have to provide it to the FAA. The $5 registration fee will be refunded to owners who register their UAS within the first 30 days. Registrations are valid for three years and once the owner has a registration number, it can be used on all the owner's UAS.
The FAA has also provided examples of UAS that do and don't require registration at http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/media/UAS_Weights_Registration.pdf.