A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) task force proposed Monday that small drones shouldn’t be exempted from registration. Federal officials announced that unmanned aircrafts that weigh slightly more than half-pound need to be registered.
Theoretically, FAA rules require that absolutely all users register their aircrafts including drones. But so far, the agency failed to enforce the rules on recreational drones despite them becoming a nuisance to air traffic nearby airport terminals.
Drones are also a popular holiday gift, so the federal government is trying to rush the new rules to be ready before Christmas. The newly proposed rules are designed to stop the chaos caused by recreational drones and help law enforcement track down owners of crafts involved in incidents and hold them accountable.
The FAA task force, dubbed the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration Task Force Aviation Rulemaking Committee, comprises drone makers, airliner associations, retailers including Amazon and Walmart, and law enforcement associations.
This Monday’s announcement that recreational drones should be registered was not a surprise by itself. The surprise relied with the federal proposal for really light crafts – about half a pound or 250 grams – to be registered, as well. The task force argued that safety studies had shown that any object that is heavier than that involves a high risk of collision with people standing on the ground.
But there is a problem. The task force issued just some recommendations and failed to provide a solid set of guidelines on how to enforce the rules. So far, the agency is concerned to design a registration system that is easy enough to use to not prevent drone users from registering.
If the rules come into effect, drone owners would be awarded a unique registration number under which they can register all their unmanned crafts. Next they will have to attach the number on the drones or manually register each drone’s serial number.
The new registration rules, however, apply only to drones that are used outdoors and to individual pilots. If you purchase a drone you won’t automatically need to register it. But the feds recommend registration to be made before flying the drone. It is highly probable that the new rules will be packed with campaigns ran by both the industry and FAA.
Drone users will need to specify their home address and name, but won’t be required to specify their phone number or e-mail. The FAA pledged that the information won’t be made public under the Freedom of Information Act.
Image Source: Flickr
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