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Buying A Drone For The Holidays? Register It With The FAA

Cameo Hill/KJZZ
An operator flies a drone in Tempe.

Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a registration system for small unmanned aircraft — more commonly referred to as drones. The response to the registry has been positive.

'Tis the season for drones. Yep, those unmanned aircraft are expected to be a hot-ticket item this year.

But before taking it for a spin, the FAA wants users to register them first.

Ian Gregor, spokesman for the FAA, says that since implementing the registry about a year ago, "almost 580,000 hobbyists have registered drones using our web-based system. And I think those numbers are pretty staggering when you consider that only about 320,000 manned aircraft or traditional aircraft are registered with the FAA."

Traditional being commercial or private aircraft. Drones weighing just over a half a pound and less than 55 pounds must be registered. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.