Proposal for a "license plate for drones" at DARC confernece

At this week's Drones and Aerial Robotics conference, Joseph Hall gave a presentation that discussed some of the issues around the idea of drones needing a "license plate" (and presumably drone operators needing a "drivers license).

His slides are now available here.  

Also, here's an NBC article on the same topic, also taken from the conference. Excerpt:

One way to assure a minimum level of competence could be pre-use certification, a "driver license" of sorts for pilots who fly the birds. 

Operators of small military drones like Ravens are trained before they can use them, and Capt. Adam Gorrell — who trained drone pilots and flew them himself in the U.S. Air Force, before becoming a professor at the Air Force Academy — sees a similar training system working for domestic operators, too. A different, smaller craft perhaps wouldn't need the same amount of training time, but the "mark in the sand" for flight readiness could shifted accordingly, he said.

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Comment by Overwatch on October 14, 2013 at 11:05am

Chris: as others have said already, it's the certification that racks the price up. A transponder that isn't certified and sealed (and probably audited every year for a nominal fee) is as good as no transponder, because then it would be possible to alter the data coming from it or turn it off. Which is morally OK, but not overly useful in the eyes of FAA or other authorities.

Comment by ikrase on October 14, 2013 at 2:41pm

Is there actually government reqiurements for AMA anywhere? I have had no contact with AMA, and basically had never heard of it except as some nebulous organization focused around especially large R/C. 

I have a feeling that any kind of licensing would end up being written by people with no idea what they are doing and being ridiculously expensive, rather than the ham radio level thing that it should be. 

Comment by Tim V on October 14, 2013 at 6:02pm

I personally don't like the idea. I'm 14 years old and budgeted to PVC and twist ties. If they ever gave me a licence, I don't think I could afford the transponder!

Comment by Drone Tinker on October 15, 2013 at 10:38pm

Hmm, I wonder if a flying hotdog drone would need a license? Or maybe a pack of 100 hotdog drones swarmed together? Anyway, I hope this talk is applying to strict special case commercial operations only.

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