Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), sometimes called drones, are aircraft without a human pilot onboard. The FAA has defined small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) as UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds including cameras, sensors or cargo.
UAS are Aircraft
Whether you call them UAS, Drones, Remotely Piloted Vehicles, Autonomous Aircraft, or Model Aircraft, they are all aircraft. All aircraft are subject to the rules of the Federal Aviation Regulations and the Statutes and Rules of the State of Minnesota.
The FAA requires users of all UAS that are not flown in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Part 101, Subpart E to be registered by make, model and serial number. Each aircraft will be issued a registration number.
All UAS registered with the FAA and owned by a Minnesota resident must register with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and pay an annual registration fee in Minnesota. Non-residents using UAS for commercial operations in Minnesota must also register their UAS before the aircraft is used for commercial purposes. To complete registration of the aircraft, the owner is required to show proof that sales tax has been paid and provide insurance information. The insurance must comply with the requirements of Minnesota Statute 360.59, Subd. 10. On the Minnesota registration form, use the same registration number that was provided by the FAA that starts with “N-“.
USA Information for Communities
As UAS use becomes more popular, communities are likely to experience issues related to their use. Having policies and practices in place allows a community to be ahead of the issues. Communicating with citizens about proper UAS use can reduce the number of calls and complaints in the community by encouraging safe practices, which reduces the workload for law enforcement.