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Drone Taskforce Completes Work, Registration for 9 Ounces and Up?

November 12, 2015 - A hastily arranged Department of Transportation task force on recreational drone registration completed its work last week. According to multiple press reports, the task force recommended a free, self-registration process for all devices weighing 250 grams (approximately 9 ounces) or more. Owners would be required to affix registration information to their aircraft in any manner that is legible. Further details are expected soon. Responsibility for registration lies with the user and those who fail to register their drones could face legal penalties. Additionally, licensed pilots should be aware that failing to register drones could place their certificates in danger.

EAA was not invited to participate in the taskforce, however it did submit comments to the DOT and FAA on the issue prior to the group’s meetings last week. In its comments, EAA cautioned that the registration effort should not tie up FAA resources used to ensure the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System. The comments also stressed that registration should not be viewed as a substitute for education of drone operators on how to safely operate their devices so as not to interfere with manned aircraft.

“Our chief concern is the continued safety of the National Airspace System,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “A voluntary registration process could be susceptible to a low compliance rate, and it remains to be seen if this is the most effective and appropriate answer to the safety question.”

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