FAA Requests Public Comments on Drone Registration

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DroneWire  |  October 21, 2015
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Following the creation of a UAS Registration Task Force, the Federal Aviation Administration announced yesterday that it will seek input from the public to help facilitate the implementation of an online drone registration program.

In a document released on regulations.gov, the agency said it's seeking "information and recommendations regarding what information and registration platform would be appropriate for UAS registration and ways to minimize the burden to the regulated community."

Many in the emerging business and consumer drone industry have questioned whether the registration scheme will solve any of the problems that led to its creation; namely drone sightings by pilots of manned aircraft. Sandy Murdock, former FAA Chief Counsel and FAA Deputy Admninistrator, said yesterday "It is at best a Band-Aid® fix and at worst a waste of an opportunity to address a real problem."

The FAA's request for public comments (embedded below) includes the following questions:

1. What methods are available for identifying individual products? Does every UAS sold have an individual serial number? Is there another method for identifying individual products sold without serial numbers or those built from kits?

2. At what point should registration occur (e.g. point-of-sale or prior-to-operation)? How should transfers of ownership be addressed in registration?

3. If registration occurs at point-of-sale, who should be responsible for submission of the data? What burdens would be placed on vendors of UAS if DOT required registration to occur at point-of-sale? What are the advantages of a point-of-sale approach relative to a prior-to-operation approach?

4. Consistent with past practice of discretion, should certain UAS be excluded from registration based on performance capabilities or other characteristics that could be associated with safety risk, such as weight, speed, altitude operating limitations,duration of flight? If so, please submit information or data to help support the suggestions, and whether any other criteria should be considered.

5. How should a registration process be designed to minimize burdens and best protect innovation and encourage growth in the UAS industry?

6. Should the registration be electronic or web-based? Are there existing tools that could support an electronic registration process?

7. What type of information should be collected during the registration process to positively identify the aircraft owner and aircraft?

8. How should the registration data be stored? Who should have access to the registration data? How should the data be used?

9. Should a registration fee be collected and if so, how will the registration fee be collected if registration occurs at point-of-sale? Are there payment services that can be leveraged to assist (e.g. PayPal)?

10. Are there additional means beyond aircraft registration to encourage accountability and responsible use of UAS?

To provide input, email uasregistration@faa.gov, or visit the following link.

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-4378-0001

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