Recommendations Could Change Drone Registration Requirements

In this photo taken June 11, 2015, a hexacopter drone is flown during a demonstration in Cordova, Md. An aviation industry task force plans to recommend Friday that operators be required to register drones weighing as little as a half of a pound, a threshold that could capture some remote-controlled toys, industry officials said. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Jackson, Miss. — A task force has made new recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration on how to regulate drones. The new registration process would mean that drones can be identified if they crash or are caught flying someplace they shouldn’t be. Dennis Lott is the Unmanned Aircraft System instructor at Hinds Community College. He says, “Even registering the hobbyists is primarily for safety. So they will know who to get the information out to, who the owners of these aircraft are and educate them and then if someone does do something that causes problems or is illegal or against the rules then they lose an aircraft where it shouldn’t be then they know how to track them down.”

The recommendations include using free, online registration that would require your name and address. A phone number and e-mail address would be optional. Users 13 years of age and up would have to register, but anyone can register multiple drones under one registration number. Registration would apply to drones over 0.5 lb and up to 55 lb. Lott says, “I don’t think it poses a threat to us. I don’t think it threatens any of our rights to operate these. The FAA has been very clear saying this is not regulating hobby aircraft. But we do want to know who the people are, who’s buying these, who’s using them so we can educate and train them.”

Some websites have started advertising that they will register a drone for you for $25. However, the government has said that registering will be simple enough that owners don’t need to pay to have it done.

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