AOPA reports that the FAA is expected to charge fees to fly #drones #quadcopters #modelaircraft

The fees would be used to pay for the traffic management system the FAA is tasked with implementing.

the new law directs the FAA and Government Accountability Office to study how the federal government could raise money to pay for drone-related services, including a future unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) program that will be a key to facilitating large-scale use of unmanned aircraft for package delivery and other operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

Says the government is to complete a study within 6 months on how to pay for all this.

The FAA is also ordered to define a beacon identification/transponder system for all drones:

Section 372 requires the FAA to establish a remote detection and identification program that law enforcement can use to track drones that violate regulations, and submit annual reports to Congress detailing drone transgressions such as flying too close to airports or inside of restricted airspace.

Source: Drone fees, new rules expected – AOPA

Hopefully these new regulations will not apply to model aircraft flown at authorized model aircraft airfields, nor in Class G airspace (unregulated airspace).

It seems likely these future rules will be applied to most airspace around cities. The costs of model aircraft flying will certainly head up if it becomes necessary to pay for air traffic control services, plus the costs of transponders (if they can even be retrofitted to existing model aircraft) and possibly related communication links (some transponder proposals have the aircraft linked to your smart phone which then ties into the ATC traffic management system-assuming phone service is available). Hopefully sufficient areas will be exempt in order to allow the long standing model aircraft community activities to continue.

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