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Drone enthusiasts see rules change on registration
A drone owned by the Gainesville Police Department during a flight demonstration in Gainesville, on Oct. 12, 2017. - photo by David Barnes

Gainesville Police Cpl. Jessica Van said she enjoys taking her drone for photography while hiking, having recently used it on a trip through some Civil War-era ruins.

“It gives you a different angle, a different perspective,” she said.

Rules have changed since President Donald Trump signed in December a bill that includes a section requiring drone users to register with the Federal Aviation Administration.

“As of this past month, everybody that gets a drone you have to register in order to fly it legally,” Van said.

The FAA issued modified temporary flight restrictions around the time of the College Football Playoff championship game, which prohibited unmanned aircraft flying over any playoff venue from Saturday morning through Monday night.

Following the announcement, FBI Atlanta public affairs specialist Kevin Rowson said the agency spotted drones over the venue.

On Thursday, he said no one was cited by the agency for violating the temporary flight restrictions.

According to the FAA, all aircraft over 0.55 pounds have to be registered. The registration number is then put on the device.

Those seeking to use drones for commercial purposes must obtain a remote pilot certificate, which involves an aeronautical knowledge test.

“Even though people do it for videos and stuff like that, if you sell your product or if you’re getting paid for it, you can get fined,” Van said.

Other rules include not flying above 400 feet and not flying beyond the operator’s line of sight. Operators are also told to use the device sober and stay away from other aircraft or emergency situations.

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