The FAA Drone Registration Task Force presented its findings to the FAA on Saturday, according to a press release. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta published a short statement acknowledging receipt of the Task Force’s recommendations, but saying very little about when and how the recommendations will be implemented.
There have been leaks from the Task Force since they first began meeting in the beginning of November, when some task force members told the press, under condition of anonymity, that they had compromised within the group to make registration requirements very broad, but easy to implement. Drone industry leaders have been unhappy with the proposal as leaked, as it indicates that most drones including hobby drones would fall under the registration requirement.
According to the leaked information, drones of 250 grams (8.8 ounces) or over would need to be registered. This would include some toy drones (although not all drones that may be purchased as toys for children – for example, the best selling toy drone on Amazon today is the Syma X5C for under $50, and it weighs about 108 grams.) Many hobby and consumer drones large enough to carry a camera would be included, however; DJI‘s Phantom 2, for example, weighs 1000 grams.
The FAA insists that drone registration will be free and easy to complete, warning consumers not to worry about hiring drone registration firms to do it for them. Further leaked information indicates that registration will be more like a license than a true registration, based on the drone operator, rather than the aircraft themselves.
This weekend’s FAA statement gave no further information about the contents of the recommendations, and did not state a deadline by which the regulations will be announced or implemented. Michael Huerta indicated only that the recommendations had been received on time. “We thank them for their excellent and expeditious work,” said Huerta about the Task Force. “I will work with my team at the FAA to review their recommendations, as well as public comments we received, as we present the recommendations to Secretary Foxx. We will work quickly and flexibly to move toward the next steps for registration.”
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.