FAA Establishes New Online Aircraft Registration System for Section 333 Exemption Holders

Commercial operators of small UAS conducting operations under a section 333 exemption must register their UAS with the FAA.  On April 21, 2016, the FAA published a notice concerning the registration of small UAS used for purposes other than model aircraft.  Prior to issuing this notice, all UAS operating under a Section 333 exemption had to register their UAS under 14 CFR part 47 by mailing in a registration form to the FAA.  In December 2015, the FAA issued an interim final rule announcing a web-based registration system for small UAS operated for recreational purposes.  However, this web-based registration system was not open to current Section 333 exemption holders because the exemptions specifically required mail registration via Part 47.  In the April 21st Notice, the FAA amended those exemptions to allow commercial users the option of registering aircraft via the web-based registration system in lieu of the paper-based system under 14 CFR part 47.  This Notice is part of FAA’s ongoing efforts to streamline the exemption and registration process in order to safely and expeditiously integrate small UAS into the NAS.