According to a report from the Federal Aviation Administration, drone sales are expected to grow from 2.5 million drones in 2016 to 7 million in 2020.
Because of their increasing popularity, the Utah Legislature has added new laws and regulations to monitor these unmanned aircrafts.
Drones weighing more than .55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must be registered. If your drone weighs more than two sticks of butter, you should register it. You can register your drone by visiting RegisterMyUAS.faa.gov. Registration is $5 for three years and if you fail to register your drone, you could face a $250,00 fine and up to three years in prison.
Once your drone has been registered correctly, you are free to use it for personal use as long as you remember these rules:
- Keep track of your drone and never let it fly higher or further than your range of sight
- Do not use drones near public areas or events, such as stadiums, airports, and public transport areas
- Stay 40 feet away from power lines at all times
- If you use your drone to take pictures, stay off private land unless you have permission from the owner
- The person operating the drone must be 16 years of age or older
- Do not harass wildlife – this is the latest of the drone laws passed in the 2017 Legislative Session
- Never use your drone to interfere with emergency responders – As summer comes along, remember to keep your drone away from wildfires, or risk getting them shot down by law enforcement.
- Always keep the drone below 400 feet, or the size of a 30 story building
Keep in mind there are some areas in Utah where drones are not allowed at all. For a list of all restricted areas in Utah and the rest of the country, visit www.wired.com.