FAA Offers Drone Registration Refunds
Some owners of drones who registered their aircraft with the FAA will be eligible for a refund of their $5 registration fee and deletion of their data, says the agency. Starting just before Christmas 2015, the FAA started requiring operators of unmanned aerial systems weighing more than 0.55 pounds (one quarter of a kilogram) to register the device and pay a $5 application fee. The registry was intended to encourage operators to get appropriate training on the safe and legal use of unmanned aircraft and to assist the FAA in locating operators following a UAV crash. In May, a federal district judge held that the registration rule exceeded the FAA’s authority by violating §336(a) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which says the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.”
Refunds and de-registration will only be available to those drone pilots willing to jump through some hoops. The process will require operators to certify that the drone (legally, a model aircraft) is only being used for recreational purposes, in accordance with legal requirements, and in accordance with community-based safety guidelines.
The form to apply for the $5 refund and delisting of owner data is available here from the FAA.