Drone sales take off on Christmas weekend

    On Monday, the Federal Aviation Authority changed their rules for commercial drone use. Up to that point, commercial drone pilots needed a private pilot’s license. 8/29/16 (KSNV)

    According to the FAA, some 2.5 million drones will be sold in 2016. More than a million this Christmas shopping season. It’s a banner year for the industry. It’s also a year where the Federal Aviation Administration issued new guidelines, a registration requirement, and testing for anyone ready to earn a living with a drone.

    Still, perhaps in part to that FAA activity, drone sales are up.

    At Las Vegas’ Friendly Hobbies, Bryan Ward tells us business is good. “In the hundreds, the racing drone scene has really built up.”

    Ward tells us it's not the sale of camera drones that is fueling the industry, instead, it’s the drones that let people race through the sky using an onboard camera to put them in the pilot’s seat. Small toy drones are also hot sellers.

    Ward says one of his best sellers is a yellow drone that retails for $100 and it fits in the palm of your hand.

    “It's very small and you can sit on your couch, put on the goggles and fly through the house. It’s a lot of fun," said Ward.

    We asked Ward how many of his customers are concerned with safety and regulations. He says “99%,” of them are.

    If you are one of those new to flying you should be prepared for takeoff. The FAA requires drones to be registered if they weigh between .55 and 55 pounds. There are also restricted skies.

    Maps on where flights are allowed are updated on the FAA website.

    You can go to their website or download their B4UFLY app from the app store.

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