Monday, November 23, 2015

Task force gives FAA drone registration proposal; should require most drone owners to register

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Task Force, a group consisting of 25 members, on Saturday delivered recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration for a process for registering drones. FAA "will consider their recommendations and the public comments as we develop an Interim Final Rule on registration, which will likely be released next month and go into effect shortly thereafter," Michael Huerta, FAA chief, wrote in a blog post. "This step will be followed by another opportunity for the public to comment as we move toward issuing a final rule on registration."

Alan Levine of Bloomberg writes: "Owners of all but the smallest toy drones will have to register them with the U.S. government before the end of the year if the Obama administration adopts proposals issued by a task force it appointed. Registration—designed to make it easier for authorities to track down the growing numbers of illegal flights—should be free, easy to complete online and permit multiple devices on an owner’s filing, the task force is proposing, according to three people familiar with its recommendations who weren’t authorized to speak about it."

The report, which is not expected to be released to the public until some time this week, "would require drone operators to register on a website or via a phone app if they own UAS weighing as little as 8.8 ounces (250 grams), and attach their registration number to their drones," David Morgan reports for Reuters. "Two sources said the drone registry could ultimately provide an alternative to the more laborious, paper-based process for registering manned aircraft for both recreational and commercial drone users. Commercial operators are currently required to register their drones through the manned aircraft process on a case-by-case basis. Registration of commercial drones will be addressed in final FAA regulations expected early next year."

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