Skip to main content

DOD/FAA Say Drones Need Registering

The Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that they are developing a registration system for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which have become an important tool in TV and film production, including TV sports.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said that they are creating a task force from government and stakeholders (25-to-30 representatives) to advise them on which UAS (drones) are low risk--like toys--and should be exempt, and look at streamlining the process for commercial operators like TV and film producers.

“Registering unmanned aircraft will help build a culture of accountability and responsibility, especially with new users who have no experience operating in the U.S. aviation system,” Foxx said in announcing the plan.  “It will help protect public safety in the air and on the ground.”

They pointed out that pilot sightings of UAS doubled between 2014 and 2015.

The Consumer Electronics Association had a representative at the announcement.

"To ensure aviation safety, consumer privacy rights, innovation and jobs in this nascent industry, any federally mandated product registration system should be imposed narrowly to accomplish true safety goals," said CEA President Gary Shapiro. "New federal government requirements for reporting of product ownership must be balanced against factors including convenience, data integrity and privacy. Any proposal must sensibly and reliably differentiate products, ranging from toys to equipment intended for commercial use."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.