On Monday, the US Federal Aviation Agency published regulation recommendations for a drone registration process that would require drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds to be registered online.
The 25-person task force was composed of aviation experts as well as representatives from companies like Google, Amazon, Walmart, and drone manufacturers like DJI, and 3D Robotics.
The group worked to make its proposed system as simple as possible, so that people wouldn’t feel deterred from registering their drone, Nancy Egan, the general counsel for 3D Robotics and member of the registration task force, told Tech Insider.
And from the looks of it, the recommended registration process is pretty straightforward.
Here how it would work:
1.) Drone owners would be required to fill out an electronic registration form through the web or through an app. They must be at least 13 years of age and must provide their name and street address.
2.) They would immediately receive an electronic certificate of registration and a personal universal registration number for use on all unmanned aerial systems (UAS) owned by that person.
3.) Mark the registration number (or registered serial number) on all applicable UAS prior to their operation in the NAS.
Egan said that all parties on the task force agreed that a registration process was necessary, however, the difficult part was fine tuning all of the details.
While the task force’s proposed system will not automatically become official regulations, their recommendations will likely carry a lot of weight for what the actual rules look like.
The FAA aims to have a process in place before the holiday season, which according to some estimates could bring as many as 400,000 new drones into households. The government wants to not only make sure those drones are registered for accountability sake, but it also wants to use the registration process as an opportunity to educate new owners on how to properly operate their drones.
It’s worth noting that businessess that operate commercial drones for things like utility inspection and photography are already required to register their aircraft with the FAA after receiving permission from the agency to fly.
The FAA has struggled to meet deadlines in the past for drone regulations, so it’s not unreasonable to think they might not have an interim system in place before the end of the holiday season. However, Egan notes, that it’s also up top drone makers to help consumers understand drone safety.
“I think the FAA is working very hard to keep up. Just like with any new technology it is very difficult for regulators to keep up” Egan said. “As an industry and for the safety of our users, it is our responsibility to be ahead of regulations and acting sensibly and responsibly so that we don’t slow down the industry.”
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