FAA reminds holiday shoppers that drones are more than 'toys'

A drone is fun to fly but that ‘toy’ you’re considering for purchase is actually an aircraft. 

— Federal Aviation Administration

If you are looking to buy a drone this holiday season, the Federal Aviation Administration is reminding people that  recreational drones are considered to be more than just 'toys.' 

The FAA has released a video alerting people that there are certain safety rules that must be followed when operating a recreational drone. 

According to the FAA, a new law was recently passed that describes how, when and where you can fly drones for recreational purposes:

  • Register your drone, mark it on the outside with the registration number (PDF), and carry proof of registration with you.
  • Fly only for recreational purposes.
  • Follow the safety guidelines of a community-based organization.
  • Fly your drone at or below 400 feet when in uncontrolled or "Class G" airspace.
  • Do NOT fly in controlled airspace (around and above many airports).
  • Keep your drone within your line of sight, or within the visual line-of-sight of a visual observer who is co-located and in direct communication with you.
  • Do NOT fly in airspace where flight is prohibited.
  • Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports.
  • Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people.
  • Never fly near emergencies such as any type of accident response, law enforcement activities, firefighting, or hurricane recovery efforts.
  • Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The FAA states that those who don't follow these rules could face consequences, "Recreational flyers should know that if they intentionally violate any of these safety requirements, and/or operate in a careless and reckless manner, they could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties."

You can find a more detailed list of the rules and regulations on the FAA's website