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Government Technology

FAA To Drone Owners: Get Ready To Register To Fly (networkworld.com) 195

coondoggie writes: While an actual rule could be months away, drones weighing about 9 ounces or more will apparently need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration going forward. The registration requirement and other details came form the government’s UAS Task Force which was created by the FAA last month and featured all manner of associates from Google, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and Air Line Pilots Association to Walmart, GoPro and Amazon. “By some estimates, as many as 400,000 new unmanned aircraft will be sold during the holiday season. Pilots with little or no aviation experience will be at the controls of many of these aircraft. Many of these new aviators may not even be aware that their activities in our airspace could be dangerous to other aircraft -- or that they are, in fact, pilots once they start flying their unmanned aircraft,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in announcing the task force’s results.
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FAA To Drone Owners: Get Ready To Register To Fly

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  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday November 23, 2015 @05:29PM (#50989211)
    Registration will provide the FAA with the owner's name and address. How will this information be useful to them? Are they going to have airports reroute traffic around neighborhoods that have high concentrations of drone owners?
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      It's so when your drone does $terroristaction they know were to send the SWAT team.
      Not that they'll be verifying these addresses, of course.

      • It's so when $terroristaction with a drone happens they know were to send the SWAT team.
        Not that they'll be verifying these addresses, of course.

      • It's so when your drone does $terroristaction they know were to send the SWAT team.

        So, the new way to "SWAT" people you don't like, have their doors broken down, etc...is to either steal their drone and do something nefarious with it, or likely could be just as easy as finding out your target's serial number, and just etching that onto ANY drone, as that with the emergency reactions to things, likely they will be happy to get an address and break down your front door and shoot your dog, etc...

        • by qwijibo ( 101731 )
          Come on, do you really think the federal government can implement a system that won't let people register random drones to other people?

          I would expect a record number of registrations to Barack Obama and Mickey Mouse.
        • So, the new way to "SWAT" people you don't like, have their doors broken down, etc...is to either steal their drone and do something nefarious with it, or likely could be just as easy as finding out your target's serial number, and just etching that onto ANY drone

          No, it's much much worse than that. You acquire a drone by any means, you register it to your target through the websystem which provides instant registration, you slap the registration number on the drone and you fly it into a controlled airspace. Done and done.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2015 @05:45PM (#50989337)

      1) It will allow them to send you information about your legal obligations and operating restrictions as a drone pilot;
      2) It will allow them to identify the owner of a drone if that drone crashes into something and causes damage;

      Can somebody please explain to me how "registering your drone" is some kind of unbelievable infringement on your human rights? You have to get licensed to own a gun, drive a car, and you have to register to vote. Why is it such a strange idea that you might, when operating something that could hurt or kill other people, and which almost certainly operates in public spaces, you take affirmative steps to understand the regulations relative to your new hobby?

      I bet that almost every one of you cunts whining about registration is also a rabid fan of the idea of draconian gun control measures.

      • I'll bet you get more damage to property from poorly regulated baseballs thrown by children than drones.

        Obviously, baseballs can hurt, and even kill people, and people play with them in public spaces all the time - we really need to get everyone registered properly so we can educate them and hold them responsible for the errant throw.

        • People could even throw baseballs across state lines! We'd better have the Feds regulate all throwing of baseballs!

          • People could even throw baseballs across state lines! We'd better have the Feds regulate all throwing of baseballs!

            Actually in a way they already do.

            Or, at least Congress seems quite interested in the steroid use of people who throw/catch/hit baseballs for money.

            Strat

      • You do not have to be licensed to own a gun in most states, and some don't even require it for carrying. Maybe this should go like encryption, and we can claim UAVs are guaranteed by the 2A.
        • by pla ( 258480 )
          Wait... You might have found the ultimate loophole here!

          What if I mount a gun to a quadcopter, and then by legal magic, instead of a "drone", I have a "flying gun"?
      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        You have to get licensed to own a gun, drive a car, and you have to register to vote.

        You do not have to get licensed to own a gun, at least in states that show the slightest respect for the US Constitution. You do not have to get licensed to drive a car, unless you want to drive it in public places (and even then, driving farm equipment on farm-to-market roads doesn't require a license, as that was seen as an undue burden). You don't, in practice, have to register to vote, unless you live somewhere that requires an ID to vote - and most states see an ID as an undue burden.

        You don't need a

        • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
          It's the states that don't have any gun regulation who shit on the Constitution. Particularly on the "well-regulated militia" part.

          See, the gun owners were supposed to be a part of militia and be ready to be conscripted into armies to protect their country. Yet what percentage of gun owners has military training?
          • "right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms"

            Why do so many people blithely ignore the the next part of the same sentence in the second amendment? Even if you buy the garbage that it applies to the "militia" (any able bodied male between 18 and 45 throughout most of the countries early history) the very next part says that it applies to everyone (IE: People).

          • See, the gun owners were supposed to be a part of militia and be ready to be conscripted into armies to protect their country.

            A "Well-regulated" militia was, by the parlance of the times (the meaning of well-regulated, that is) one which was working properly, i.e. in the defense of the people. It had nothing to do with rules and regulations. That's a modern connotation. You think you know how to read, but you don't. If you did, you'd take the age of the material into account.

    • by JoeMerchant ( 803320 ) on Monday November 23, 2015 @05:52PM (#50989395)

      Back in antiquity, I had to "register" to get a "bikes on trains" permit to carry my bike on the metro. It was a nominal $5 fee (covered the cost of the photograph) and a royal pain to go to the downtown office to get the permit, but the whole point was to educate the permitee about the dos and don'ts of carrying your bike on the metro. Then, whenever somebody it being a bonehead with their bike on the metro, the officials can say either: a) "You need to have a permit to do that, go get it." saving themselves all effort at education on-the-spot, or b) "I see you have a permit, but you obviously didn't pay attention to the training." and possibly revoke the permit on-the-spot, forcing the ex-permitee to jump more hoops to get it reinstated.

      Hunting and fishing licenses are a similar game, though their fees are higher, and annual. The presumption is that you will learn what you're supposed to know as a licensee - though, in practice, they're mostly just an annual fee.

      Registering drones, like registering handguns, will give some traceability to the bits of electronic junk that get lost in hard to get to locations inside state/national parks, and on other people's private land. It might make some operators a little more careful and a little more aware of the impacts their toy can have. I don't think it's much about keeping them out of the flightpath of commercial airliners, I think it is about making the owners more accountable for less serious bone-headdedness.

      • Or they can post signs, like they do here.
      • Hunting and fishing licenses are also to ensure the proper level/age/gender of animals, or at least close to it, is hunted, for conservation, etc. purposes

        .

        • Hunting and fishing licenses are also to ensure the proper level/age/gender of animals, or at least close to it, is hunted, for conservation, etc. purposes

          No, no they are not. Licenses don't do that. The only thing licenses do is make sure that someone has spent money. Only enforcement does that. Enforcement already happens; they have wardens out all year making sure that people aren't poaching. I live in major hunting country, so there's lots of them here.

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Two words: Registration fees.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      So that the drone owner gets into a federal database with new federal standards. Many states do not have stop and identify statutes to find out who a drone owner is.
      Flying a drone is not a crime or can not be presented as been a reasonably crime like act to induce the showing of photo ID.
      So it hard to get the names of the owner unless they walk back to their car (plate number), are followed by law enforcement officials, or have a cell phone on them (StingRay, IMSI-catcher).
      Such passive options are now
  • First they came for the journalism drones, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Journalist.
    Then they came for the environmental journalist, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not an animal rights activists.
    Then they came for the citizen journalism, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not into 1st Amendment audits.
    Then they came for my drone—and there was no one left to speak for me.
    No more 4k ready drones moving along public property capturing news worthy footage w
  • well, does my son's RC car make him a "driver", too? registration is one step closer to confiscation.
    • If your son's RC car is affecting regular traffic then yes.. that makes him a "driver"

      Imagine if RC cars were a relatively new thing.. and people started attaching cameras to them and driving them on the freeway around emergency responders.

      • Imagine if RC cars were a relatively new thing.. and people started attaching cameras to them and driving them on the freeway around emergency responders.

        There are already laws in place to punish anyone doing such a thing. Just like there already are for flying model airplanes in the way of real aircraft.

        • Right now, personal drones are getting to a point where people ARE getting in the way of real aircraft, registration would make it easier for law enforcement to track a drone to it's owner instead of having to create some elaborate investigation into who owns the device.

          Not even counting how drones are starting to be used a little more prolifically for businesses.

          All this talk about "gub'mint confiscation" seems like runoff from gun nut types.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday November 23, 2015 @05:52PM (#50989399)

    Weight is pretty much the most clueless measurement to use.
    You could build something really big, put helium balloons inside it and have it sit on a scale and still weigh less than 9 oz.
    Any of Physical size, maximum range, maximum speed, maximum altitude, any of those would have been much less clueless.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      One could probably assume that although they use the term "weight", they are probably referring to mass, since the units are equivalent in Earth gravity.
    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday November 23, 2015 @06:14PM (#50989567) Journal

      Weight is an extremely important and controlling parameter for aircraft. It has worked well as an important parameter for classification. For example, the smaller two classes of manned aircraft are called Ultralight and Light Sport Aircraft.

      "Maximum" speed, range, and altitude are less useful because they are highly variable under different conditions and impossible to test for a true maximum. Maximum design ratings are used, but weight it the major criterion, the criterion that the classes are named after.

      The FAA also regulates lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons and blimps. It turns out that by using the EMPTY weight of the craft, you totally avoid the issue of filling it with helium balloons- and the trick of having the gas tank only 1/4 full when it's weighed. They are all measured empty, and it's the empty weight the classifications are based on.

  • I have questions!

    Registration is mandatory prior to operation of a UAS in the NAS not at point of sale.

    UAS = Unmanned Aircraft Systems AKA "RC aircraft"
    NAS = ???

    Persons must be 13 years of age to register.

    I don't think you have to be 13 years or older to purchase or operate one, so this seems like a loophole.

  • If the Govt. encouraged drone-flying then it would have a cadre of skilled operators who took their hobby seriously enough to want to see it well regulated and free from idiots. That way a basically unenforceable law costing millions to police would be mostly self-policed by people with decent civic values... As well as cutting edge skills and technology. Hey what's that you say Sooty? 'Nerds being sociable?' Yes, why not.

    In the UK plane spotters were once seen as some sort of terror threat but then

  • by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Monday November 23, 2015 @06:16PM (#50989579) Homepage
    ...this is a good thing. Non-drone quads, like all RC craft, require skill to do something stupid that will hurt more than your neighbours or your wallet. Autonomous, self-piloting, drones can be more dangerous than a car if flown improperly. Regulate them, just as cars and other aircraft are regulated.
    • So that's your justification for them including 9-ounce balsa wood model airplanes in this process? really?
      • So that's your justification for them including 9-ounce balsa wood model airplanes in this process? really?

        Right, that is exactly what I said. Are you perchance a blood relation of my wife?

    • Autonomous, self-piloting, drones can be more dangerous than a car if flown improperly.

      Citation required.

  • by hsthompson69 ( 1674722 ) on Monday November 23, 2015 @06:28PM (#50989661)

    So, we generally work by the fiction that a "gun" is the lower receiver, and that is the part that is what we register.

    Exactly what part of the drone are you going to serialize and register? The wings? The engine? The fuselage? Will you need to de-register when it breaks? Re-register it after it's repaired?

    At what point will the government decide to have us "register" all of the home made cakes we bake in our ovens? The parts and technology for a cake are just as common and available as the parts and technology for a drone...

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Monday November 23, 2015 @07:20PM (#50990019) Homepage Journal
      Yourself. The person is registered in a new federal database. The registration number "must be affixed to the aircraft" and "marking must be readily accessible and maintained in a condition that is readable and legible upon close visual inspection".
      Its all about the person and connecting them to any and all drones in use. A demand for photo ID does the rest.
      • that's nice, I'm putting your registration number on my drone and then going to do naughty, naught things

      • Okay, so let's just register people, and insist they inscribe their social security number onto everything they own - cars, guns, drones, clothes, computers, cell phones, baseballs, cakes, or anything else you could possibly misuse or cause damage with...this couldn't possibly get creepy, and then we'll have one universal identifier for each individual.

        Maybe, just maybe, those people without those identifiers can be deported immediately, because obviously nobody would be able to actually *forge* any sort of

  • ...drones are the new tech race. I won't be surprised to see hydrogen as fuel, structural factor and buoyant.
  • Before any of you get all pissed off about 'having the government all up in your business', consider this: The assholes flying drones in the way of aircraft trying to put out wildfires, or into restricted airspace (read as: the Whitehouse), or to (attempt to) smuggle contraband into prisons, or to spy on people in their backyards? They are the ones you should be beating on for this and no one else.
    • NO. Its not my fault idiots exist. Liberty is not supposed to punish the innocent for the actions of the guilty. You have a shitty viewpoint.
    • Fires is a problem. But one that tech is addressing as devices capable of disabling drones in an area or forcing them to return to their controller are starting to come out.

      As to the Whitehouse, mount some of the new laser's the navy has developed on the Whitehouse. If a drone enters proscribed airspace around the house it goes poof. Prisons? That's why guards have shotguns, free skeet practice. Backyards are a little challenging. Shotguns is also my initial answer but discharging firearms is often p
  • The FAA basically told the AMA eat shit.
    Even though the federal law says that the FAA cannot regulated model aircraft under federal law. Utter BS the law says they cannot regulate a model aircraft under 54 LBS, that is flown under 400 AGL and operated with VLOS of the operator. The AMA self limits themselves to 15lbs.
    Official response from the AMA. http://amablog.modelaircraft.o... [modelaircraft.org]

    This will be DOA when a lawsuit gets filed by the AMA.
    I crashed more than one 1k aircraft on landing, do you think I won
  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @03:45AM (#50992291)
    I have several drones (two quadrocopters and an octocopter) and I definitely support this.

    First, the requirement is not onerous. There are no serious licensing requirements.

    Second, having drones to be traceable is a good thing - if somebody crashes them into your window then you'd definitely want to find who did it. And never mind that a crashed drone can sometimes catch fire (mine did) from a ruptured battery (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] as an example).

    Third, there is some honey here - FAA plans to review restrictions on flying inside the national parks once the registration system is up and running.
    • by bongey ( 974911 )
      As person that follows the rule of law, I cannot support this. No federal government agency should be allowed to break the law.
      Federal law specifically says the FAA cannot regulate model aircraft under certain conditions.
      FAA is trying to regulate model aircraft under the conditions set forth by law.
      FAA is breaking the law, too bad we cannot take the administrators and send them to jail until they post bail.
      • Can you provide a link to this law (and it must be a federal law)?
        • Can you provide a link to this law (and it must be a federal law)?

          FAA is bound by Section 336 Special Rule For Model Aircraft from enacting new regulations regarding model aircraft which fall within the parameters described in Section 336.

          On the other hand, a model aircraft operated pursuant to the terms of section 336 would potentially be excepted from a UAS aircraft certification rule, for example, because of the limitation on future rulemaking specifically âoeregarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft.â Public Law 112-95, s

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