“Registering unmanned aircrafts will help build a culture of accountability and responsibility, especially with new users who have no experience operating in the U.S. aviation system. It will help protect public safety in the air and on the ground.” These remarks were made by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx earlier this week when he addressed the DOT’s goal of establishing rules for drone operator registration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The DOT plans to create a task force consisting of industry and government officials that will submit a report on registration requirements by November 20 to the DOT.
These registration requirements come not only after the FAA has been repeatedly urged to come up with a set of safety (and privacy) regulations for drone operations, but also after the FAA has seen a sharp increase in the number of reported pilot drone sightings, increasing from 238 in 2014 to 650 halfway through 2015.
The FAA anticipates a speedy process for pursuing regulations after the submission of the November 20th report. FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, said, “Registration will help make sure that operators know the rules and remain accountable to the public for flying their unmanned aircraft responsibly.” Of course besides determining the specifics for registration, the task force will determine which types of drones should be excluded from these requirements, such as toys –maybe the idea is to get these registration requirements out before kids start flying their new unmanned aircraft this holiday season. We will keep you posted on the details of the task force’s report and any subsequent regulations.