Report: Task Force to Propose Free Registration for All Drones Over 9 Ounces

Users will also have to attach a "legible" registration number to their drone.

The 25-member drone registration task force will, according to the Wall Street Journal, recommend mandatory drone registration be “simple and free” and be required for all drones that weigh more than nine ounces.

The Wall Street Journal, which cites “three people familiar with the matter,” also reports that the task force will recommend users register by entering their name and address into a government-run website or mobile application.

Users would have to attach a “legible” registration number to their drone.

The report says the recommendations are a “compromise” as drone manufacturers and hobbyists wanted only heavier drones to require registration. However, users would have had to follow a more cumbersome registration process designed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to the report. So the two sides met in the middle - lower weight threshold with an easier registration process.

The FAA put together a task force of drone manufacturers, aviation associations, retailers and others to provide recommendations for how to approach a mandatory drone registration system. The group’s co-chairs are Dave Vos of GoogleX and Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office. Here are the members:

Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx has set a deadline of Nov. 20 for the Task Force to complete its recommendations and work is already underway. The group will meet formally from Nov. 3-5 before developing recommendations on a streamlined registration process and minimum requirements on which unmanned aircraft should be registered. Given the urgency of this issue, the DOT and FAA will move expeditiously to consider the Task Force’s recommendations.

Amazon and Walmart are both working on drone delivery systems. GoogleX, which has served as Google’s think tank, is looking into commercial drones as well. Such operations, however, would be covered by a different set of regulations that’s working its way through the FAA system.

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
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