FAA task force aims to register drone hobbyists

Remote-controlled aircraft larger than 9 ounces would have to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration under recommendations described Monday by the leaders of a drone task force.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.usatoday.com

Remote-controlled aircraft larger than 9 ounces — the kind owned by hundreds of thousands of hobbyists — would have to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration under recommendations described Monday by the leaders of a drone task force.  If the FAA adopts the recommendations, drone owners would have to register their names and physical addresses, but would not have to pay a fee. Each aircraft would be marked with a unique number, though not necessarily the serial number, to identify the owner.  The registry marks the latest balancing act for federal regulators who are trying to keep the skies safe as drones increasingly share the airspace with passenger planes. Commercial drones, for purposes like aerial photography or utility inspections, are already registered when operators get special permission to fly from FAA.  The proposed registry would help authorities track down hobbyists if a drone collides with another aircraft, flies too high or encroaches on an airport.   But Roger Duffell, of Loganville, Ga., said as a licensed pilot who also registered a commercial drone, he supported registration. He also urged that drones be programmed to return home automatically if they fly out of range of their remote pilot.  “The trick is going to be getting Pandora back in the box, by stopping the future sale or importation of non-compliant” drones, he said. “As a pilot, I have a vested interest in keeping the (national airspace) safe!”   Dave Vos, co-chairman of the task force as leader of Project Wing at Google X, which is developing delivery drones, said the task force didn’t make any recommendations  about “geofencing,” or software that would restrict where drones fly.

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