A D.C. appeals court struck down the FAA's requirement that hobbyist drone owners register their unmanned aircraft, saying Congress explicitly blocked the agency from regulating "model aircraft" under a 2012 law. "Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler," according to the court's opinion. "The Registration Rule is unlawful as applied to model aircraft."
The FAA said in a statement that it's "considering our options," and a spokesman declined to comment further on how the ruling could affect drone owners who've already paid to register their aircraft. "That is something I'd be curious to hear from the FAA about, because people have been asking me," says John Taylor, the plaintiff in the case, who explained his suit didn't address refunds or deletion of the FAA's databases since he never registered his own aircraft. "I've been like, I think we should give them a reasonable amount of time to decide that, if they haven't decided that already, but if they don't, I think they'll be getting some phone calls." SM