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U.S. Announces Task Force to Create National Drone Registry

By Hanssie on October 19th 2015

It was bound to happen. Today, the Obama administration announced its intentions to create a task force to require owners of drones to register their unmanned aerial vehicles in an effort to curtail the close calls and growing safety risks. Drones have increasingly posed a threat to firefighters and commercial flights as they have become more popular and available to consumers.

[REWIND: AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS: MAP SHOWS WHERE YOU CAN AND CANNOT FLY DRONES IN THE US]

 

dji-phantom-2-vision-quadcopter-703-pIn a report by Reuters, “the FAA has reported more than 650 unauthorized drone sightings so far this year, as of Aug. 9, compared with 238 for all of 2014. If sightings continue at that rate, the number would near 1,100 by the year end.” The new registry would require all drone owners to register their devices – consumers and hobbyists included.

This registry would help identify rogue drones (such as the ones that prohibited firefighters from battling a wildfire earlier this year), as well as educate people on drone flying safety and flying restrictions near airports, around public venues, and in National Parks (I saw a tourist flying a drone in Yosemite National Park this weekend). Earlier this month, a company was hit with $1.9 million in fines by the FAA for unauthorized drone use. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says in the press conference below that their issue hasn’t been identifying drones, but locating its owner.

Hoping to have a registry in place by Christmas, where it is anticipated that an estimated million drones “could be given as gifts,” the FAA hopes that the registry will encourage people to fly their UAVs more responsibly. And if they don’t, there will be consequences for their actions. Foxx says,

The signal we’re sending today is that when you enter the national air space, it’s a very serious matter.

A 25-30 member task force that will include government and industry officials, as well as hobbyists, will hammer out the details, including what types of drones will need to be registered, as well as the penalties for flying an unregistered drone. Their deadline is November 20th so that they can have the rules in place by mid-December. This will apply to current and new drone owners.

What do you think about the proposed drone registry? Leave a comment below.

Thanks to SLR Lounge reader ahsanford for the tip!

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Hagos Rush

    Two thumbs up

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  2. robert garfinkle

    Great!!! Now we usher in the “Department of Droneland Security”

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  3. Tyler Friesen

    I think this is a great idea given the number of idiots flying into commercial spaces lately. It does make me wonder how they can move so quickly on this subject but not take a serious look at some sort of gun control policy.

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    • robert garfinkle

      well, gun control has mechanisms in place, they do, it varies from state to state, but it’s there. I mean think about it. Really, aside from completely removing guns (and not sure that’d work at all) as criminals will still be criminals and do bad stuff.. they will.

      But, this industry, so young / fresh, has no regulation and when anyone can get a hold of these things and do things they normally can’t do, like crossing over property, not just to film etc… any devious behavior can be had with drones, something has to be done.

      I am one who seriously does not like government intervention, publically… but something has to be done. I just hope it’s registration only, and not an overstepping where you can film, because then we’d wear out pretty fast what we can do with these things from a creativity perspective.

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  4. Ronald Mathis

    The way thay are going to coordiate this so dad can get his son on christmas, vs group of guys throwing in to scout a good hunting area is going to be unreliable and tedius. Probably will not get one just something else to carry. When they get big enough without costing an arm and leg to carry me where I want to go now there is another storry.

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  5. robert garfinkle

    ok, so, I’m split on this one; yet weighing more on the side of caution – I’ll explain.

    Whilst I do not see how exactly government registration would prevent lapses in safety / prevent mishaps from happening, as fundamentally, even like registered weapons, there is no effective means of “really” stopping the “accidents happen” and / or “malicious intent” with a drone, I cannot quite grasp how surveillance / oversight can react fast enough to prevent anything for that matter, just can’t see it. Would it be like a registered gun owner, where there is some form of background check done before a purchase is made???

    Because regardless of registration, by the time it’s all over, whether accident or not, people’s lives are lost or greatly affected / changed, forever.

    Now, having said that. While I think drones are cool and can be used artistically, there is a great risk factor involved with them.

    Yes, some terrorist (undocumented bad guy!!) could so decide to fly a drone into an aircraft upon landing / take off.

    Yes, some innocent person, with intent for artistic use, can lose control of his / her craft and put people in danger.

    Yes, some sicko, can find a way to do harm, hurting killing a lot of people.

    And, the biggest one of all. Some corporation, wanting to be on the cutting edge, can put drones in play, and hedge their bets that their industrious / commercial use, out of 10’s of thousands of mishap-free flights, would find some means of minimizing a disastrous event saying this was just a robocop-style glitch in the system, let insurance pay damages yet keeping on with no regards for human life. Like a UPS / Fed-ex delivery drone accidentally taking the life of a kid who’s running across a yard.

    So, do I like regulation / registration by government. Y’all know I don’t. Do I think their intervention will be effective in prevention of accidents; maybe, maybe not, not thinking so. Do I think corporations will really try to get their way, paving the road for acceptable number of accidents, Yes!!! when I think they should not be allowed AT all. Do I think there will be peeping-tom-drones used by whack jobs, yes.

    In my mind, there is a bleak future for drones. and to me, for every million hours of successful drone use not one incident should be allowed to pass.

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  6. Javier Larroulet

    I had to happen eventually… sadly, a handful of idiots (sorry) that can’t play by the rules (or lack thereof) will make a fun and mostly harmless hobby more of a hassle for everyone.

    Don’t be surprised if this is quickly replicated elsewhere

    Sad on one hand, but the endgame is better for everyone… one less danger for airbone aircraft is a good thing.

    I need to wonder if this means that drone operators will need FAA licenses, two-way comm with ATC and transponders. That would surely bump the costs a bit

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