FAA shares drone registration recommendations

A task force says recreational drones larger than 9 ounces should be registered. (Credit: FAA)
A task force says recreational drones larger than 9 ounces should be registered. (Credit: FAA)

The Federal Aviation Administration has released a task force’s recommendations for setting up a registration system for recreational drones – and the full report includes fresh details about how the system would work.

The main recommendations filtered out two weeks ago, soon after the task force wrapped up its meeting in Washington, D.C.: The registration procedure should apply to unmanned airborne systems that weigh 9 ounces or more, it should be free and easy to register online, and one registration number could be used on multiple drones operated by the same person.

Here are more of the details from the report:

Drone operators would be required to enter their name and street address into a Web-based or app-based registry, but other contact details – such as email and phone number – would be optional. The system would be powered by an API that multiple websites can feed into. That means manufacturers could set up their own registration sites.

New drone owners wouldn’t be required to register at the point of sale. That’s because it wouldn’t be illegal to own an unregistered drone. It’d only be illegal tooperate a registered drone outdoors. (Indoor drone flying would be unregulated.)

In return for signing up, operators would get a certificate of registration that they’d have to carry with them (in printed or electronic form) whenever they’re flying their drone.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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