The US Department of Transportation released their official statement today about a drone registration system. Citing recent reports of drones creating safety hazards as their reason for the move, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced that they are convening a task force to make recommendations for a drone registration process.
The 25 – 30 task force members will be chosen from government, industry, and “other stakeholders.” The statement names the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Academy of Model Aircraft, the Air Line Pilots Association, the American Association of Airport Executives, the Helicopter Association International, PrecisionHawk, AirMap/Small UAV Coalition, and the Consumer Electronics Association as representatives of the group. PrecisionHawk is a drone manufacturer.
The purpose of the task force is to make recommendations about which types of drones should be exempt from the process, and to “explore options for a streamlined system that would make registration less burdensome for commercial UAS operators.” The group has been directed to complete its recommendations by November 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.”
The statement indicates that the FAA will continue with its “aggressive education and outreach efforts,” and will take “strong enforcement action” against drone operators violating existing regulations.
In a seeming effort to stem negative public opinion, the release references statements in support of a drone registration system by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, the American Association of Airport Executives, PrecisionHawk, and the AirLine Pilots Association International. The DOT says that they are “working with stakeholders to improve safety to ensure further integration and innovation in this promising segment of aviation.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.