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FAA Releases Drone Registration Task Force Recommendations
November 25, 2015 - This week, the FAA officially released a set of recommendations on drone registration that were compiled by an industry task force formed by the agency and DOT. The task force, consisting of representatives from the tech and retail industries as well as pilot groups, finalized its recommendations in just three days of meetings in Washington, D.C. The FAA will use the recommendations to establish rulemaking on drone registration.
In its final report, the task force reaffirms the FAA’s legal authority to require drone registration, citing a law which states that a person cannot operate an aircraft unless it is registered with the FAA. Using the FAA’s currently pending rulemaking on the regulation of commercial drones, the task force set an upper limit of 55 pounds for registration. The task force recommended the lower limit be 250 grams, or about 9 ounces, using calculations to show that a drone of that size could cause serious injury or death if it were to strike a person.
According to the recommendations, registration would not occur at point-of-sale and it would be the responsibility of the owner to register his or her drone. The name and street address of the registrant would be required information. The registration database would be web-based, potentially allowing owners to use apps to register their drones.
Though EAA was not invited to participate in the industry task force, the government advocacy team submitted comments to the FAA regarding the registration proposal. EAA supports any system that will safely integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS), yet remains dedicated to ensuring manned aircraft always have priority over drones, maintaining that airspace is not restricted for manned aircraft as a result of drone integration, and no new equipment requirements are mandated for operating manned aircraft in the NAS.