There has been much discussion in the last year about the the Federal Aviation Administration’s new rule requiring recreational drone users to register their model aircraft with the federal government.
Failure to comply with the FAA rules means you could be subject to civil penalties up to $27,500 and/or criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
Considering that recreational drone sales have mushroomed, with millions now in circulation, many recreational users wondering if this wasn’t a case of severe over-reach by the FAA.
The appeal succeeded because the judge agreed with the Plaintiff’s argument that the FAA does not have the power to regulate model aircraft, per Congress. According to the FAA Modernization and Reform act of 2012, signed into effect by President Obama the Special Rule for Model Aircraft specifically indicates that the FAA ‘may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.’
Whether or not a new series of actions will be undertaken by the FAA in order to try to extend it’s oversight to recreational drones has yet to be seen. The FAA will not be happy about this ruling, however recreational drone users are likely breathing a sigh of relief.