Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th-most extensive and the 23rd-most populous of the 50 United States. At 1,300 miles Alabama has one of the longest navigable inland waterways in the nation. It covers 52,400 square miles, and its population is 4,850,000 people. Average elevation is around 500 feet, so Alabama is a paradise for drone flyers. Drone technology is still relatively new and there aren’t a lot of laws protecting us from those eyes in the sky. Recently, FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) released regulations about flying unmanned flying machines. Their owners are obliged to register them.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced that all units weighing between 0.55 pounds and 50 pounds must be registered by February 19th, 2016. Anyone caught flying without proper registration after that date could face stiff penalties. The FAA says civil penalties include a fine of up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years in jail.
- Unmanned flying machines that are operated outside have “a maximum takeoff weight” of anywhere between 250 grams and 55 pounds are required to register.
- Each owner would get a single registration number so if he or she has multiple drones, they don’t all need to be registered individually.
- Users don’t need to be registered to purchase a drone, but they do have to be registered before they start flying it.
- Name and street address are required to register, but the serial number of the drone, owner mailing address, phone number and email are all optional.
- You have to be 13 years old or older to register.
- The FAA doesn’t require information about citizenship or residency to register.
- Registration is free.
- The registration system will live online and likely be accessible through an app as well. There will also be an API component that would allow for the creation of custom apps that could work in concert with the database.
- Owners will receive an electronic copy of their registration certificate but a paper copy will also be available. The e-certificate will have the owner’s name, FAA registration number, a confirmation link and the drone serial number if it was included in the registration form. Operators would need to have the certificate on hand while using the drone in the event of an inspection.
- The FAA-issued registration number must be visible on the drone.
- GO TO THE REGISTRATION PAGE HERE.
- You must provide your complete name, physical address, mailing address, and an email address. The email address will be used as your login ID when you set up your account.
- Pay fee of $5 to FAA.
- You will receive a unique registration number that applies to any and all UAS that you own. You must mark all of your UAS with the unique registration number before operating. A registration certificate that contains the unique FAA registration number, the issue and expiration dates, and the name of the certificate holder will be sent to your email address immediately.
Alabama Drone Rules:
- You may not intentionally use a drone to harass someone who is legally hunting or fishing.
- Do not fly over power lines, or crowds of people.
- Do not fly over national parks, stadiums or military bases.
- Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
- Keep your drones in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
- Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
- Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
- Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport.
- Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
- Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Alabama Special Drone Law:
- Florida Drone Registration
- Georgia Drone Registration
- Mississippi Drone Registration
- Tennessee Drone Registration
- West Virginia Drone Registration