“Drone registration is moving toward being less like registering a car and more like getting a drivers license — but easier,” Marketwatch reports.
While the FAA has declined to comment prior to tomorrow’s deadline, anonymous sources say that the FAA’s task force on drone registration will recommend that drone operators be required to obtain a single registration number for themselves, but will not require a separate unique identifier for individual drones.
Since many drone operators own multiple drones, often building them from purchased parts, obtaining a unique registration for each individual drone could be problematic. As clubs and interest groups proliferate, and new features are released almost daily, drone hobbyists often trade or sell drones in order to upgrade, making the tracking of individual drones still more complicated.
Supposedly, the task force will eliminate this problem by asking the operator to obtain a unique registration number, which they must then place on all of their aircraft. This could be done in any way that makes the number visible, from a magic marker to a printed label. The number would be removed from the drone before it was transferred to a new owner.
The FAA said earlier this week that the registration process will be deliberately simple and free, and should not require the use of a special service to accomplish it. The agency indicates that the registration will require name and identity information, but will not be any more difficult than registering any new product with the manufacturer. An earlier task force leak indicated that all drones over 9 ounces would fall under the new regulations. (Interestingly, while this barrier will include the majority of consumer drones, it would not necessarily include racing drones, which generally weigh less than 8 ounces.)
The FAA task force is expected to put out recommendations on Friday outlining the drone registration system, and the FAA will release an official statement then. The agency hopes to have the registration system in place by next month, in anticipation of a large number of drones being received as holiday gifts.
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.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam or (for paid consulting engagements only) request a meeting through AdvisoryCloud:
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