Cleveland welcomes FAA drone registration

Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 24, 2015

After a small unmanned aircraft flew through the landing pattern of planes at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport last month, city officials are welcoming the FAA’s new drone registration requirement.

Fred Szabo, interim Director of the Department of Port Control, told the incident happened in the afternoon on Nov. 16. 

Police were dispatched to the scene in the restricted airspace near W. 150th St. for reports of the drone. 

“It was in the airspace and actually it was in the landing pattern of aircraft at the time,” Szabo told 

Szabo said the city will consider legislation proposed next month that would require drones to be registered with the city. 

Szabo said the Federal Aviation Administration’s recently announced requirement for drone operators to register in a federal database is a step in the right direction. 

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“We’re not really concerned about a model airplane that’s flown in a non-restricted area, but we’re just seeking to ensure that people fly their drones in a responsible manner,” Szabo said.  

On Monday, the FAA launched a new web-based registration system for small unmanned aircraft systems. 

Hobbyists and recreational users who fly drones, which include remote controlled aircraft, are now required to register at before they ever take flight. 

With more than 400,000 drones expected to make their way under Christmas trees this year, the news is especially important to gift givers. 

Owners must register small UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) if they are to be flown outdoors for hobby or recreation. 

Registration is free until Feb. 19; after that the federal law requires a $5 registration fee. 

As of Thursday, more than 45,000 people had registered their small unmanned aircraft systems. 

Akron-based Drone company founder Jeff Taylor said the registration is a necessary step in the development of the drone industry. 

“Drones need to be regulated,” said Taylor, who started the company Event 38 Unmanned Systems about 4 years ago. “I think that’s very clear because they can be dangerous to manned aircraft or people and property.”

Taylor sells drones to drone users mostly outside the country, because the regulations are so tight in the U.S.

The company makes aircraft for mapping, which are primarily used by farmers or agronomists, surveyors and construction companies that are in need of a high-resolution map of their job site. 

Taylor said some hobbyists are upset about being required to share their personal information on the public database. 

“People are definitely worried a little bit about the fact that the registration is public but I would say overall that the industry and hobbyists are supportive of the regulations,” Taylor said. 

Event 38 employs about 25 people who make dozens of drones each month. Hundreds are currently in flight around the world.  


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