Looking to buy a drone this holiday? These are the FAA operating rules, regulations

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Is a drone on your holiday wish list? 

If so, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is urging pilots to follow the FAA Drone Zone social media accounts over the next 12 days in order to understand how to properly operate a drone.  


The agency's "12 Days of Drones" educational campaign kicks off Dec. 1. Throughout the course of the 12 days, the agency will post detailed information about owning a drone from properly registering it, test requirements for recreational flyers to airspace restrictions. 

The information will be posted on Twitter and Facebook and each day will be dedicated to its own topic. 

However, the agency also dropped a new video on its YouTube channel, recapping the rules and regulations of operating a drone. 

A drone flying above a sunset sea.  (iStock / iStock)

The video instructs pilots to register their drones online at faadronezone.faa.gov. Registration costs $5 per drone and lasts for three years. 

Once registered, the video says pilots must display the FAA-issued registration number on the outside of the drone. 


Operators are also required to take the free recreational UAS safety test. A recreational flyer is someone who uses a drone for "fun or personal enjoyment purposes only," according to the FAA. 

When flying, drones must stay at or below 400 feet and they must be kept within the operator's line of sight, the FAA said. 

Operators must also be wary of FAA airspace restrictions. Drones are also not allowed to fly near other aircraft or around major stadiums or sporting events and they must respect other people's privacy. 

Drones are also not allowed to interfere with wildfire response or hurricane recovery efforts. Additionally, fliers should never operate a drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

The video concludes by saying, "a drone is an aircraft and you are its pilot." The FAA also linked its page covering drone rules. 

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