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 Tim on October 19, 2015 at 10:37am

Hopefully a large percentage of the population gets a drone so that it becomes unmanagable to do law enforcement surveillance of a few drone owners. 

Comment by Gary McCray on October 19, 2015 at 10:51am
Just watched the DOT live feed on drone registration.
Could be as bad as feared.
Register everything (although the AMA guy seems to be pushing for limits on what is required to be registered) no one else even mentioned it.
Point of sale registration and back registration required, ("Fly in the NAS (which is everywhere) without registration and suffer the consequences").
American Pilot Association seems heavily behind it and major emphasis was on getting this in place before the Christmas rush.
Since it is only a requirement for registration, not a restriction on flying the FAA and DOT do not consider it a violation of the Congressional mandate to not restrict the hobbyists.
It does look like the burden will be ultimately placed on the consumer / operator to ensure that their "drone" is registered, so no problem relating to direct or unregistered purchase, you still need to register it before you fly it.
Looking to local law enforcement for primary or initial enforcement.
I hope the AMA is able to inject some reasonable weight / capability limits on what requires registration.
But - basically looks a big Grinch stealing Christmas.
The DOT guy said it was specifically meant to impact the expected Christmas sales rush.
Best Regards,
Gary
Comment by Jonathan Hair on October 19, 2015 at 10:54am

I am disappointed in the AMA. Are my dues going towards them encouraging this?

Granted, he seemed to be encouraging some limits on the crazynes when he spoke, but he should be representing the thousands of AMA members that completely, 100%, oppose this.

Comment by David Boulanger on October 19, 2015 at 11:37am

I watched this and I am not really sure what to make of it.  I did find it humorous that one reason given for registering was so that people flying sUAS's would know what the rules were.  Really????  So if  you own a DJI Phantom, and a unregistered one crashes and lets say starts a fire or injures someone in the area that you live,  expect the law paying you a visit.

Regards,

David R. Boulanger

Comment by Ernst Von Schmidt on October 19, 2015 at 11:53am

Hilarious! Pass the popcorn!  The DOT? The same outfit that can't keep thirty-thousand citizens per year from being slaughtered on the deteriorated roadways of America? The same incompetent poseurs who can't see to it that a simple $8,000,000,000 bridge won't rot before its time (SF)? The same pack of loons who have presided for decades over the dismantling of any sort of usable public surface transportation in the US? Who can't keep the biggest automobile company in the world from blatantly hoodwinking them (VW)?

These DOT wingnuts have foolishly allowed the thoroughly hangdog, defeated FAA to drag them into this arena, not suspecting that it is they who will end up being tossed under the bus. Chapter one of  their upcoming spectacular failure will be just defining what they think they're talking about when they say "drone." This is going to be fun to watch.

By the way, when are some of the many helicopter and fixed-wing pilots who claim to see drones filling their windshields, but who really are only seeing how worthless their jobs will soon be,  going to be prosecuted for lying to public officials, filing false reports, and so on? Maybe registration will help catch some of these pathetic losers, and there are a lot of them.   

Comment by The Sun on October 19, 2015 at 12:59pm

Comment by squilter on October 19, 2015 at 12:59pm

My favorite part was when they decided to do nothing for 3 years, and then they decided to implement "emergency legislation", so that they won't need to listen to public comments.

Comment by Patrick Duffy on October 19, 2015 at 1:02pm

Bureaucrats creating problems that do not exist. I will not be 'registering' anything, either my guns or my drones.

Comment by Jared O. on October 19, 2015 at 1:44pm
This is the wrong way to do it. I'm all for accountability but this is just dumb. A smarter way would be to require an operator license for each pilot that would essentially be a review of current drone laws and an operator number. The operator number would be your registration number to include on all of your drones.
Comment by John Moore on October 19, 2015 at 1:52pm

Yeah, I don't think so. Good luck enforcing this. Also its hilarious that if my quadcopter shot bullets instead of photos this would have never come up.

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