The FAA kicked off one of its most aggressive rulemaking efforts in history this week, as the drone industry task force met to consider how to register the hundreds of thousands of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) projected to be sold this Christmas. The concept of registering drones seemed to come out of nowhere in late October, most likely in response to continuing news reports of drone “near miss” events.
While some think it is unrealistic to try to register so many small quadcopters, the Secretary of Transportation’s timeline may be even more unrealistic – the committee must complete issue guidelines in just two weeks (warp speed for the FAA). In his opening remarks, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta identified a number of tricky questions that must be addressed, including: who is ultimately responsible for registration, should registration include a formal education component and should there be an age requirement.
Whatever the recommendations are, there is a recognition that the current aircraft registration system doesn’t work for an industry of this size. As Huerta said, “Ultimately, we want to make registration as easy as possible for consumers, to relieve them of the complexity associated with registering larger, manned aircraft.”
What do you think about this proposal? It it a good idea to register drones? Will it improve safety for pilots? Or is it a waste of time and a distraction from bigger issues?
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