amarabbit.jpg 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 Ernst Von Schmidt 47 seconds agoDelete Comment

    For those of you who don't think the AMA is worthwhile or don't know what they're doing, here's an interesting, scathing document regarding the outright lies the public is being told directly by the FAA: 

    For those who think the AMA should be more aggressive, be aware that in the words of the AMA Executive Director in a personal letter yesterday, "It's a bit of a fine line we're walking...." The AMA is the only real advocate we have at the table, and they are there at the whim of the FAA/DOT thugs. So they have to dance to the tune there, or go home. We need to support the AMA. 

  • Has anyone noticed how the aerospace industry consistently reacts to extremely rare incidents that result in dangerous situations, crashes, or deaths? Have you ever noticed how that industry pulls out all the stops, spends unlimited sums of money, dives to the ocean depths, spends years to recover every piece of a crashed aircraft, reassembles entire vehicles, and spends years in order to investigate and understand the causes of accidents? All this in order to make sure the same thing never happens again? Has anyone noticed this devotion to safety? 

    There's a deep consistency in the aerospace industry. One that is dedicated to safety -- first, foremost and always.

    Funny, eh? 

  • I'm dont understand for what reason AMA took part in this strange bad smelling action ...

  • Moderator

    From the FAAs previously linked missive. looks like its all model aircraft. So no doubt the AMA will argue against the small indoor toy stuff but will have a hard job for anything that flies outdoors me thinks.

    Federal law requires that a person may only operate an aircraft when it is registered with the FAA. 49 U.S.C. 44101(a).1 “Aircraft” is defined as “any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air.”2 49 U.S.C. 40102(a)(6). In 2012, Congress confirmed that UAS, including those used for recreation or hobby purposes, are aircraft consistent with the statutory definition set forth in 49 U.S.C. 40102(a)(6). See Pub. L. 112-95, sec. 331(8), 336 (defining an unmanned aircraft as “an aircraft that is that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft,” and model aircraft as “an unmanned aircraft that is capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere, flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft, and flown for hobby or recreational purposes”); see also Administrator v. Pirker, NTSB Order No. EA-5730, at 12 (Nov. 17, 2014) (affirming that the statutory definition of aircraft is clear and unambiguous and “includes any air aircraft, manned or unmanned, large or small.”). Because UAS, including model aircraft, are aircraft, they are subject to FAA regulation, including the statutory requirements regarding registration set forth in 49 U.S.C. 44101(a), and further prescribed in regulation at 14 CFR part 47.

    If the FAA had acted as several countries did almost 10 years ago to sort out some sort of regs the USA would not be where it is now. 

    Don't worry change of leadership soon and that always resets the clock on these things.

    Get you comments in if you feel passionate about this.

  • Moderator
    If they were really concerned about safety then they would be concentrating on education. A set of guidelines collated into an information sheet, provided with every uav or autopilot purchased, would be a much more effective tool. If you were to combine that with a very early and heavy prosecution for illegal and dangerous flying, the message would get out very loud and clear to all concerned without affecting those of us who fly safely and within the rules. But then that would not generate as much income......
  • Moderator
    Mike that is a most erudite post, I fear that you are quite correct.
  • They aren't doing this because of somebody's balsa giant scale P-51 at the local AMA field. They are specifically doing this because of "drones", and by that they mean autonomously flown or FPV flown aircraft designed for photography or first person operation. Nothing else matters in the context of this conversation. But all of that aside this has nothing at all to do with a credible threat to air traffic. If it did, there would have been a much different approach.

    Registration does nothing... zero to prevent hazards to flight. That is just a fact. You all know this, the FAA knows this and anyone who spends two seconds thinking about their proposal knows this. Registration is a post incident accountability tool, not a preventative control. If a smoking hole in the ground is what you are worried about... who cares if the operator was "registered". If your friend gets in a car wreck with a drunk driver does it matter if he had a license??? Or are you more worried about airbags and seatbelts?

    There are a million ways they could have approached this if they were interested in safety. They did what they did because they aren't. It's a ruse for something else. And it's only the tip of the iceberg. We are about to be bludgeoned to death under an avalanche of "requirements". They do not want hobbyists to own "drones", period. They want you to build little R/C park flyers and stay at your AMA field, but they can't say that or forbid it by law without appearing to be overbearing tyrants squashing an innovative industry. So they will do what bureaucrats always do when they are unwilling to be up front... They will put in place so much overhead, so much red tape, make it so hard to do the activity they dislike that people will just not do it anymore because it is too expensive, to rigorous, to reiculously controlled to be fun or enjoyable. And they will do all of it in the name of "public safety".
  • I'd also like to see an official statement on this topic from 3DR. Chris?

  • Can all of the people here complaining about registration tell me how happy they would be if they or one of their family was injured by a fly away RPAS and they had no way to identify the responsible party? What possible reason would anyone have to fly dangerous uncontrollable equipment around in public spaces? Get over it! There are a lot of things you aren't allowed to do by law. If you think you have better ideas then get in there and prove it. Complaining here isn't going to get anything accomplished. And get off my lawn!

  • Moderator

    Don't forget if you bring model aircraft into the fold there have been plenty of RPA deaths. Where possible lets keep politics out of this. If you feel strongly enough about this subject you can actually comment on the link above and hope the folks see it. Better make it polite otherwise they will bin it and that's a waste of a rant.

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