Drones

FAA drones task force recommends online registration system

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The owners of small aerial drones will have to register with the Federal Aviation Administration, based on the recommendations the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration Task Force made to the Transportation Department on Nov. 23.

DOT and FAA formed the task force of public and private stakeholders in October to address increasingly common close encounters between large aircraft and small, privately owned drone aircraft.

The agencies wanted to make the case that operating private drones in national airspace is potentially dangerous and that they need to be able to trace drones back to their owners in the event of a mishap with a larger aircraft or other incident.

The task force's recommendations would apply to unmanned aircraft that weigh more than 250 grams. Owners would be required to supply the FAA with their names, addresses and other information before operating a drone in U.S. airspace. The minimum age for an operator to register would be 13.

The task force backs a system that would allow multiple apps to feed registration information into the database and recommended that each participant receive a certificate that contains a unique number to be used on all the registrant's drones.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the proposed registration portal will up and running before Christmas.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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