U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Announces Unmanned Aircraft Registration Requirement

New Task Force to Develop Recommendations by November 20

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today announced the creation of a task force to develop recommendations for a registration process for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

The task force will be composed of 25 to 30 diverse representatives from the UAS and manned aviation industries, the federal government, and other stakeholders. The group will advise the Department on which aircraft should be exempt from registration due to a low safety risk, including toys and certain other small UAS.

The task force also will explore options for a streamlined system that would make registration less burdensome for commercial UAS operators. The task force may make additional safety recommendations as it deems appropriate. Secretary Foxx directed the group to deliver its report by Nov. 20.

“Registering unmanned aircraft will help build a culture of accountability and responsibility, especially with new users who have no experience operating in the U.S. aviation system,” Foxx said.

“It will help protect public safety in the air and on the ground.” Every day, the FAA receives reports of potentially unsafe UAS operations. Pilot sightings of UAS doubled between 2014 and 2015.

The reports ranged from incidents at major sporting events and flights near manned aircraft, to interference with wildfire operations.

“These reports signal a troubling trend,” Huerta said.

“Registration will help make sure that operators know the rules and remain accountable to the public for flying their unmanned aircraft responsibly. When they don’t fly safely, they’ll know there will be consequences.”

While the task force does its work, the FAA will continue its aggressive education and outreach efforts, including the “Know Before You Fly” campaign and “No Drone Zone” initiatives with the nation’s busiest airports.

The agency also will continue to take strong enforcement action against egregious violators. At the same time, it will continue working with stakeholders to improve safety to ensure further integration and innovation in this promising segment of aviation.

Secretary Foxx was joined by representatives from the following stakeholder groups:

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Academy of Model Aircraft Air Line Pilots Association American Association of Airport Executives Helicopter Association International PrecisionHawk AirMap/ Small UAV Coalition Consumer Electronics Association

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Comment by Brian Greeson on October 19, 2015 at 6:16pm

@Patrick.  If you watch the press conference you would know they haven't actually done anything yet.  They only announced they are thinking of enacting some type of registration some how.  I'll wait to see what they say on November 20, if that even happens (we all know how good they are with deadlines).  Then I'll have something to flip my sh** about.

Comment by Ron LaBorde on October 19, 2015 at 8:35pm

Well it looks like rover will get a lot more attention than copter or plane now that it will be the only vehicle controller use for Pixhawk that won't likely require registration. I love the idea of autonomous vehicles. Flying is way cooler than RC cars and you aren't nearly as limited by terrain. But if this new registration requirement is burdensome enough to have a chilling effect, then rovers will be "where its at" for hobbyists that want a robot they can program to navigate to waypoints and conduct missions.

Comment by F1P on October 20, 2015 at 4:48am

See at lucky  faces they have. Game over drone fans...

Comment by Tony Kenward on October 20, 2015 at 6:19am

With all of the Alphabet Soup groups that are included, all you people can see is "Government Grinch".

"BoooooHOoooo, the FAA won't let me play with my toys!!"

Do you not feel included in this?  Besides the AMA, there is the Consumer Electronics Association. 

Y'all had another thread to discuss this, but when the 'onerous regulation and laws' didn't get announced, y'all had to jump over here to continue the wacko conspiracy theories.  Yup, there is another Windmill Monster just over the next hill!! . . .

Comment by David Drysdale on October 20, 2015 at 6:20am

I don't get why governments and the uninformed have such a hard-on for registering things. In Canada we had a gun registry for 10+ years. When it was scraped the proponents of it couldn't site one case where it helped in any way. Now that is has been gone for 5 or so years the new government  are bringing it back apparently. Guns acutely kill people by mistake and on purpose and the registry had no measurable effect. What will a toy planes registry do that a gun registry couldn't? Bring the death related from drones from 0% to -1%??

Comment by Tony Kenward on October 20, 2015 at 6:36am

David:  Didn't Canada only scrap the 'long rifle' portion of the law?  Doesn't Canada still have restrictive laws on handguns? . . .

(I don't want to turn this into an NRA debate, just asking.)

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 20, 2015 at 6:48am

Tony, yes, we have restrictive laws on handguns. Not an outright ban, but tighter rules on owning them (strict background checks, not allowed carrying them around in public, etc). But the long gun registry is a different matter.  There's a big difference between registering something, and restricting it. 

David, to be fair, the registry never had a chance to prove itself.  It was only in existence for a very short time, and registration numbers were low due to civil disobedience.  And there is zero indication that it's coming back.  It wasn't even a footnote in the election campaign.

Comment by Jonathan Hair on October 20, 2015 at 7:01am

So here is my question: assuming the community is in agreement that this is bad, wrong, and unjust (I certainly do), what is out best course of action to fight it?

Boycott the registration process? 

Comment by Chris Card on October 20, 2015 at 7:13am

@ johnathan.. Start a kickstarter fund to  register millions paper airplanes and bog down the system to the point of crippling it.  :P

Comment by Acorn on October 20, 2015 at 7:13am

Did anyone else catch Foxx say that commercial regulations will be coming out June 2016?

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