New Russian law obliges to register toy drones, radio-controlled aircraft mockups


MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russia’s federal law of December 30, 2015 “On introducing amendments to the Air Code of the Russian Federation regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles” is coming into force on March 30, 2016.

The document regulates the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, and aims to increase the general level of aviation security.

In connection with the great popularity of drones and the expansion of their scope of use, the need arose to specify certain provisions of the Air Code of the Russian Federation, as well as to establish a government UAV database.

The bill, drafted by Russian’s Transport Ministry, was submitted to the State Duma in late March 2015, considered and approved at a government meeting in March 2015, adopted by the Duma in December 2015. The bill was signed into law December 30, 2015 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It takes effect March 30, 2016 – 90 days since its official publication.

UAVs to be registered

According to the document, all UAVs whose maximum takeoff mass is equal to or exceeds 250 grams are subject to registration. Thus, the law covers even radio-controlled aircraft mockups and children’s toys. Model aircraft enthusiasts’ organizations, manufacturers and sellers of drones were speaking against the bill during its discussions.

The head of the Duma transport committee, Yevgeny Moskvichev, explained to journalists that even small drones may be used to commit terrorist acts, so data about them will have to be entered into a special register. The apparatuses will be registered in a simplified manner. The regulations may be adjusted if need arises.

The law vests the operator of the drone with the status of the pilot. The operator should have a remote pilot certificate.


Registration of UAVs is not described in the law and will be regulated by an additional resolution of the government of the Russian Federation. In line with the resolution, there are plans to vest the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) with the functions of UAV registrar.

The draft resolution under discussion suggests that during registration the applicant will in particular submit data on the drone manufacturer country, type, serial number, year of production, application (military/civilian), the maximum takeoff mass, type and number of engines, engine power, a document confirming UAV acquisition or production, personal data of the applicant.

After that, the registration body will enter the provided data into the state UAV database. Upon registration, an identification sign is placed on the body of the UAV.

Drones in the United States and the European Union

From December 14, 2015, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has demanded that UAV owners register all drones with the maximum takeoff weight of 250 grams to 25 kilograms in line with a simplified procedure.

Any citizen of the United States aged above 13 may do that on a special website paying $5. Upon registration, the owner gets by mail a certificate and number to be placed on the UAV body. The certificate is valid for three years. Drones weighing over 25 kg undergo a more complicated registration procedure.

In the European Union, there currently are no laws establishing the rules of drone flights and registration. Separate countries impose local laws. In particular, Italy demands that drones with the maximum takeoff mass of 25 kg and more be registered.

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