New drone owner? Make sure you know the FAA rules before flying

Posted at 7:09 AM, Dec 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-27 10:14:25-05

If Santa's nice list led to a drone under your Christmas tree this year, don't let breaking the rules put you on the Federal Aviation Administration's naughty list. 

In anticipation of more drone owners this holiday season, the FAA is reminding people they need to register their gadget before taking it out for a test run.

Drones that are over .55 pounds must be registered. If your drone is under 55 pounds, you can register easily online and it costs $5. The registration is good for three years. 

If you don't register, operators can face big fines, according to the FAA. 

Some other rules:

  • Make sure to fly the drone within your range of sight.
  • Avoid flying over groups of people.
  • If you fly within 5 miles of an airport, the FAA says you need to notify the nearby airport and air traffic control tower before lift off.

If you want to be extra cautious, you can download the FAA's nifty app called B4UFLY. It shows recreational drone operators are any nearby flying restrictions. 

Check out full list of rules here.