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Update: New rules in effect for drone owners

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

There's no doubt about it, drones are cool to own and fun to fly. However, before you take to the sky, you will now have to do a one-time registration with the Federal Aviation Administration in order to make your drone "legal."

"It was very expected," said Cory Burright, who operates a store called Drones Plus in Chandler. 

With increasing interest in drones and more of them in the air these days, Burright said it was only a matter of time before the federal government stepped in to ensure the sky and the ground underneath it are safe.

"Now there will be a way to track drones if something was to happen to one or if something was to happen to a person or that person's property," Burright said. 

This is what you need to know if you currently own a drone or get one as a gift. First of all, you'll have to register it if it weighs 0.55 pounds or more. Anything less than that you don't need to worry about. 

Next, if it is over a half pound, locate the unique serial number found somewhere on your drone.

“So, just like a car it has a VIN number, and each drone has this one identifying number on it," Burright said. 

Take that unique number, log onto www.faa.gov and register your drone. Current drone owners have a Feb. 19 deadline to complete registration. If you get one as a holiday gift you'll have to register it before your first fight. It's going to cost you $5 to register your drone. 

Dustin Pennington is a drone enthusiast who builds his own machines. He's not thrilled with this new registration process. 

“A lot of technology comes from creativity, and creativity comes from having fun, and they're restricting the fun you can have on your own," Pennington said. 

Like it or not, drone registration is here to stay, and as more of them are purchased the registration process will be modified with more rules.

"Things are definitely going to change and get more restrictive," Burright said. 

In order to encourage people to register their drones, the $5 fee will be waived as long as registration is done by Jan. 20. For more information, click here

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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