FAA Task Force Releases UAS Registration Recommendations

A task force consisting of a variety of small unmanned aircraft system stakeholders including manufacturers, sales outlets, video camera manufacturers, and manned and unmanned aircraft industry organizations, have produced recommendations for a registration process for sUAS. If implemented, the registration process would cover both commercial operators and those flying sUAS as a hobby.

The recommendations only apply to sUAS — UAS weighing 55 pounds or less and, while these recommendations will not immediately become enforceable, they will contribute to the final rule published by the FAA.

At a three-day meeting in early November opened by FAA administrator Michael Huerta, the task force developed recommendations for a process that it felt would ensure accountability of the sUAS operators in the national airspace system while producing maximum compliance.

While the conclusions of the task force were not unanimous and details of each step are left out, the recommended registration procedures published by the FAA are as follows.

After the applicant fills out an electronic registration form on the Internet or through a mobile app, he or she would immediately receive an electronic certificate and a registration number for use on all sUAS owned by the registrant. The registration number would be displayed on the aircraft prior to operating them in the NAS.

The registration would be free and limited to people age 13 and older. There would not be a citizenship or permanent residence requirement associated with the registration process.

The task force recommended the exclusion of sUAS with a gross weight of 250 grams or less from the registration process. This suggestion was based on a series of calculations that factored in the risks presented to the public.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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