FAA's special task recommends registration of drone owners
24 November 2015
The Consumer Technology Association forecasts that 400,000 drones would be sold in the US this holiday season.
The drone proliferation led the Federal Aviation Administration to form a special task force to develop a way to monitor the hundreds of drones in the sky. The task force has now recommended that the government introduced a simple registration system for unmanned aircraft heavier than 250 grams, which was about half a pound.
The recommendations come from the FAA's task force, co-chaired by FAA drone chief Earl Lawrence and the head of Google's drone project, Dave Vos. The task force also included 24 other drone, aeronautics and aviation experts from Amazon, Best Buy, GoPro, Walmart and several industry groups and associations.
The FAA would now combine the task force's recommendations, with public comments it had collected and propose formal rules. According to a number of reports, the rules were expected before Christmas, but the FAA yesterday said it did not have a specific timeline.
The recommendations have called for registration of the owner, not each drone.
According to Google's Vos, what was being recommended was that each owner had a registration number and if that owner owned airplane or a hundred airplanes the same registration number could be used on all the airplanes that owner owned.
The recommendations, from a task force created by the agency, would be the biggest step yet by the government to deal with the proliferation of recreational drones, which are usually used for harmless purposes but have also been tools for mischief and serious wrongdoing, and pose a risk to airborne jets.
''The FAA needs to meet growing political pressure that they do something before an incident that nobody wants to happen, happens,'' said Anne Swanson, a lawyer at Cooley, a law firm in Washington, The New York Times reported.
Though drones had been around for years, their popularity had soared lately with improvements in technology and greater interest in photography and filmmaking from the sky.
The broader adoption had also raised questions about privacy, safety and also the nuisance caused by the machines.