What you need to know about flying a drone, FAA rules and regulations

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HOUSTON— Technology is ever evolving making it hard to keep up with the latest trends. From Smartphones to home appliances, everything is becoming more sophisticated and tech savvy.

The newest trend is the self flying robot known as the drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Drone's became very popular over the last few years in the business community and are now a source of entertainment and recreational sport.

If you think that flying a drone is as simple as a drive to your local electronic store, think again.

Here's a list of things that you should know before jumping onto the drone bandwagon:

The first question you should ask yourself is will you be flying for fun or trying to make some cash?

If you will be using your drone for business purposes you will need to register your drone with the FAA. Don’t worry it only cost $5.

You must also pass a FAA knowledge test to receive your remote pilot’s license. There is a fee to take the test, $150.


If you plan on flying for fun, you do not have to register your drone and you will not need a license. You still may want to take a drone course for your own safety.  The University of Houston is currently offering drone classes at select campuses.

Whatever the case,  follow these guidelines and you will be a pro in no time.

  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Be aware of airspace requirements and restrictions
  • Stay away from surrounding obstacles
  • Keep your drone within sight
  • Never fly near other aircrafts, especially near airports
  • Never fly over groups of people
  • Don’t fly at night

With all these rules, let’s remember that flying a drone can still be a lot of fun.

The FAA can answer all of your questions here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/