According to a new report, the 25-member drone task force will recommend mandatory drone registration be “simple and free” and be required for all drones that weigh more than nine ounces.

The task force will recommend users register by entering their name and address into a government-run website or mobile application.

Users will also have to attach a “legible” registration number to their drone.


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  • My Thoughts:

    It looks like this is likely to happen regardless of whether it is appropriate, enforceable or reasonable.

    Personally, I think at least 1 pound or a half Kilo would have been a more reasonable "cutoff".

    And I also think that registering pilots with a unique registration number and legally requiring them to affix their pilot registration number to any over XXlb UAS they flew would be a lot easier to enforce as well as being able to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities as pilots.

    But this is the FAA and DOT.

    And it is an AdHoc group of "Industry" representatives who are less interested in the toy and small cheap "copters" than more serious UAS which they knew they were going to have to register one way or another anyway.

    So we at least probably can't be too surprised.

    For the moment, lets assume this "recommendation" is a fete accompli.

    We can probably work with that more successfully than "they" think possible.

    It is specifically designed to require registration of Phantom class qyuadcopters and unfortunately considerably smaller ones as well.

    Although, the Parrot BeBop at 400 grams will be overweight and require registration under these rules (even though it is probably not a hazard to anyone or anything with its low weight, low mass and foam protection), it is probably possible to make an equivalent <250 gram copter especially now that the target will be known.

    Over sized camera sensor based optical stabilization using a GPU is making great strides and acceptable performance for a gimbal-less system is nearly at hand, so the camera system, based on cell phone components does not need to be heavy.

    Great strides have been made in low power tiny quad and octo CPU microcontrollers with the necessary power to run the video stabilization and all the autopilot you want.

    ( Ounces, - we can do 9 ounces with a solid 60fps 1080P video, FPV and a Solo capable autopilot.)

    If you don't think so, if the 9 ounce rule passes, see what we have a year from now and get back to me.

    That also gets things small enough where Lithium (not LiPo) batteries become feasible and flight times from 20 to 30+ minutes should be feasible. 

    Like I said, I wish it was a pound, but we can make 9 ounces work for 95 percent of peoples needs.

    Mostly, this whole registration thing is likely to utterly backfire and wipe out most of the manufacturers committed to making things bigger than the cutoff weight.

    Certainly the new major emphasis will be on being below it.

    DJI and 3DR - ignore this at your own Peril.

    VRBrain and Parrot, I think you already know this.

    High performance tiny quads will be the new high ground.

    Have a Great Day


  • That seems absolutely pointless.

  • FYI. Here's the full text of the WSJ article that Tony pointed to above.

    Nov. 6, 2015 12:36 a.m. ET
    A federally convened task force plans to urge U.S. officials to cast a wide net in registering recreational drones but to make registration simple and free, according to three people familiar with the matter.

    After three days of meetings, the task force on Thursday agreed to recommend registration for recreational drones weighing more than 250 grams, or roughly nine ounces, according to two task-force members and a third person close to the group. That would include almost all consumer devices other than toys.

    The group also plans to recommend that users register by entering their name and address into a government-sanctioned website or mobile app, the people said. Registration would be free. Users would have to attach a registration number to the drone so that it is legible.

    “You can put it in indelible ink, you can bedazzle it,” one of the people said. “It just needs to be legible so (authorities) are able to read it.”

    The Federal Aviation Administration convened nearly 30 government, industry and consumer representatives to recommend rules for registering recreational drones before Christmas. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx proposed the regulations last month, saying they needed to be adopted quickly because drones are endangering manned aircraft. He gave the task force until Nov. 20 to deliver recommendations.

    Drones have soared in popularity in recent years as technology advances have made them cheaper, smaller and easier to fly. Regulators struggled to keep up as hundreds of thousands of the devices took to U.S. skies.

    The FAA is expected to closely follow the group’s recommendations, in part because of the expedited timeline for the rules and because the task force reached a nearly unanimous consensus, the people familiar with the matter said.

    They described the recommendations as a compromise. Drone makers and users wanted a higher weight threshold for requiring registration. But users won’t have to follow the FAA’s more-cumbersome registration process for manned aircraft, which requires visiting an FAA office and can take as long as three months.

    “What we achieved can be characterized as a package deal,” said a second person familiar with the matter. “No one got everything they wanted; you could say everyone is a little unhappy.”

    The task force didn’t recommend new penalties for violating the registration rules, the people familiar with the matter said. Users who operate unregistered drones would be subject to existing federal penalties, which include civil or criminal fines and up to three years in prison.

    One person said the group could propose lesser penalties before the recommendations are due, but that was unlikely.

    The task force is co-chaired by Earl Lawrence, a top FAA drone official, and Dave Vos, head of the drone-delivery project at Google parent Alphabet Inc. Other members include representatives from the largest airline-pilots union, an association of airport executives, consumer-drone makers such as SZ DJI Technology Co., and companies that want to use drones in their businesses, such as Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

  • There is nothing reasonable about creating a government registry for toys.

  • Thanks for sharing the link, Tony. 

    Seems like they have a reasonable group of people working pretty well together on the task force. Not surprised. This isn't rocket science, eh? 

  • There is a few reports on some of the compromises reached by the working group.

    The FAA is expected to closely follow the group’s recommendations, in part because of the expedited timeline for the rules and because the task force reached a nearly unanimous consensus, the people familiar with the matter said.

    They described the recommendations as a compromise. Drone-industry representatives wanted a higher weight threshold for requiring registration, but other members pointed to a study that found drones heavier than approximately 250 grams could injure people if they crash. With the lower threshold, the group agreed to make registration as easy as possible, including allowing users to register one time for multiple drones.  [...]


  • Bravo to the Task Force for deciding to make drone registration free. 

    It's worth noting that they're trying their best to do the right thing for the community, while also doing their best to reduce the growing safety problem -- the problem Chris Anderson has named "mass jackassery", meaning reckless flying.

    We'll have to wait a little bit longer for their final results but I'm expecting it to be just as reasonable as this. What we can likely expect are a formalization of existing AMA guidelines along with specified and severe penalties for drone pilots who do not comply. This will expose every drone owner who registers to safe flying requirements as well as their importance -- something too many neophytes are unaware of now. It'll be an effective way of educating thousands of new pilots blissfully unaware of the rules. 

  • I already do this - it's called my AMA number.  It's on a printed sticker that goes on all my vehicles.  It has my phone number too, and a reward if found. How is making this mandatory solving anything?  Like I've mentioned in my FAA comments, it would be easy for DJI to ground the DJI products without registration tied to the account within the US (or any other country). 

  • +1 John, I don't see how they can justify it with the language in the 2012 FAA authorization act.

  • Only problem is ...

    If mandatory, it's unlawful  per section  336 of the 2012 congressional act.  (That specifically orders the FAA not to regulate recreational drones ...)

    Unless congress passes a new resolution ...

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