The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received a lot of hassle when it made its announcement last year when it announced plans to require drone owners to register their craft, both those purchased previously and those which they purchase in future. Even with all this hassle though they’ve seen quite a few drone owners register in the first month.
In a statement, over the first 30 days since the online registration system went online they’ve had nearly 300,000 people register their “small unmanned aircrafts”. If you own a craft between 0.55lbs and 500lbs you are required to register it, with registration required before you are allowed to fly the craft outside.
During the first 30 days, it was free to register, however, there is now a $5 cost for registration. If you purchased your drone before December 21st, 2015, you are required to have registered your drone by the 19th February, with all registrations lasting three years.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been talking recently about their plans for drone owners to have to register, recently releasing details about the system and then outlining the criminal charges that will be placed on people should they not follow the new rules. The FAA confirmed on the 18th December that model aircraft’s name and home addresses will be publicly available.
In its current state, the system does not release names and addresses. They have expressed that the system will be modified so that the public can search registration numbers, ultimately revealing the name and address of the a particular drone.
With the ability to search a registration number and find out their details, from their response to Forbes writer John Goglia, you would not be able to search by name or address so unless you have the drone’s number you are not going to be able to find someone’s details (or track a drone down based on the owner’s details).
Of course this revelation is slightly worrying for a lot of people, they are now able to have their details exposed by a legal requirement. It would be on par to getting people to reveal their identity for driving licenses or publicly revealing the owner of registered guns.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics advised its members that they are looking for legal and political ways to stop the registry or change the way it is being conducted, given that they are about to expose a majority of their members details to the public.
For a while now the hot topic for technology being used by the public has been drones. Small devices capable of flight with everything from a camera to a gun attached to them. Recently a drone crashed into a power line in Hollywood, the end result being a power outage for several hours with no way to track the responsible party to a toddler losing an eye to a crashed drone, the concept of controlling this area of technology has been discussed by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for a while. The FAA has now clarified what the registration will entail and revealed details about the penalties for flying without a permit.
“The Qube is flown in a demonstration (pictured above) in Simi Valley, California, October 19, 2011. The tiny drone with four whirling rotors swoops back and forth about 200 feet above the ground scouring the landscape and capturing crystal-clear video of what lies below. (Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times/MCT)”
In order to register you will be required to pay a $5 fee, a fee that is being waived if you register in the first 30 days. You must register any drone that weighs between 0.55 and 50 pounds, by the deadline of February 19th, 2016.
The penalty for flying a drone without a license? Civil penalties could be a fine up to $27,500 while criminal penalties could include fees of up to $250,000 and up to three years in jail!
You can start the process now, but you won’t be able to fully register until December 21st. In order to register you must be 13 years old and upon completion will be issued a certificate that will include a unique ID that you must put on your drone.
Drones are advancing at a rapid rate, with companies and the public alike looking to use them for a variety of reasons. Sadly with all new technologies coming into the public domain, there are a few issues. Most recently there was an incident when a drone crashed into a power line in Hollywood, cutting off power to almost 700 people. This has only added more fuel to the fire for people who want to get all drones registered, an idea which was received with skepticism and dread. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now started to clarify some details regarding their plans.
Companies have already popped up stating that they would help users register their drones with the FAA, making that one less task to worry about when you purchase your new piece of tech. The FAA has responded by announcing that users won’t need to work with a company to register as the task will be simple. They state in the post that users should wait till later in the month when more details will be announced before they part with even more of their hard-earned money.
With drones being augmented and adjusted by the general public, do you think it’s a good idea to register the devices? If so, how easy would you want it to be before it becomes unnecessary work?
In a step to regulate the usage of personal drones, it has been reported that the US Federal Government will announce plans to implement mandatory drone registration with the US Department of Transportation. Included in this are plans to work with drone manufacturers to ease implementation of registration and a plan to have a drone registry in place by December, with the obvious intention of requiring the registration on the many drones received as gifts this Christmas. This announcement comes hot on the heels of the introduction of the Safe Drone Act, which less than two weeks prior made it a misdemeanor to fly drones within a restricted area, punishable by fine or up to a year imprisonment.
So what constitutes a restricted area? The current bill for the Safe Drone Act lists three types of restricted area to which it applies:
Within 2 miles of an airport
Within 2 miles of the perimeter of ongoing firefighting operations
Within an area of temporarily flight restricted airspace
It would appear then, that US government has determined how to handle infractions by this emerging type of recreational aircraft which previously left them stumped. Their makeshift solution of offering monetary rewards to those willing to identify aerial miscreants left much to be desired. Now, with a combination of rules on drone use and the ability to more easily track and identify the owner of a drone in the case of an infraction, it seems that inappropriate and dangerous drone use will have far more accountability and in future incidents like those that hampered firefighting efforts back in August will be a thing of the past. And in the bigger picture, could this be the first step towards commercial regulations on drones, finally allowing services such as Amazon Prime Air finally get off the ground?