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FAA to require external registration markings on your drones

By David Matthews · 14 replies
Feb 12, 2019
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  1. Previously, the registration number could be housed within the battery compartment as long as no tools were needed to open it. A preview of the new rule was posted on the Federal Register and will go into effect on February 23rd.

    Today, certain kinds of drones have to be registered with the FAA for legal operation. Although the initial registration program was created in 2015, a federal court Washington D.C. struck down the rules in 2017, which it says were in violation of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. However, the rules were reinstated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 which was signed into law by President Trump.

    "The FAA is taking this action to address concerns expressed by the law enforcement community and the FAA’s interagency security partners regarding the risk a concealed explosive device poses to first responders who must open a compartment to find the small unmanned aircraft’s registration number."

    While the public technically has 30 days to comment, the FAA is fast-tracking implementation to just 10 days. The agency claims that the Administrative Procedure Act allows it to enforce the rule early due to the fact that "first responders could be exposed to additional risk during the notice and comment period as a result of the attention drawn to the vulnerability."

    The commercial drone market is predicted to be worth about $8.7 billion by 2021. The massive popularity of drones doesn't seem to be tapering off as more people find interesting ways to use them. Intel, for example, used more than 1,200 drones to put on a light show at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Dutch researchers created a drone that resembles a fruit fly. Amazon wants to eventually deliver your packages via drones that also respond to your movements.

    Unfortunately, government officials are still trying to determine how to deal with people flying drones in places they're not supposed to. In Atlanta, owners who flew their drones too close to Mercedes-Benz Stadium had their drones confiscated after the FAA enacted a temporary flight restriction around the stadium in preparation for the Super Bowl. Most recently, drone sightings shut down the UK's Gatwick Airport and prompted the airport to install a military-grade anti-drone defense system.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Deevo324

    Deevo324 TS Rookie Posts: 18   +10

    Yeah, good luck with that FAA! I love ***** bureaucrats and presidents, they make me laugh so hard. This fantasy of power that they think they have will keep me chuckling all day! I'm sure the baddies will be furiously writing their rego numbers on their drones as soon as possible. "Pointless" doesn't even begin to describe this!
    Underdog and wiyosaya like this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,819   +2,173

    I was thinking the same thing. It sounds like the typical mentality of the current administration.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,661   +2,414

    So you don't care about protecting people from terrorists, criminals and random imbeciles who abuse technology. Good to know. Now for a reality check: IF they so desired the authorities could neutralize about 80% of all drone activity in the continental US inside of a year, permanently, with NO cooperation required from the public. They can track ANY drone currently on the market from over 20 miles away with ease. If they wanted to the military could not only block the command signals of most drones throughout nearly the entire continental US but actually seize control of them. Who do you think INVENTED most of this UAV tech??
  5. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Addict Posts: 147   +118

    That’ll have about as much effect as gun control. I’m sure that the terrorists will be very concerned that they might be fined by the FAA if caught without proper visible registration.
    lazer likes this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,263   +4,931

    I for one do not see a problem with this. Sure there will be cases where registration will be fictitious. That is no different than what we have with boat and vehicle registration. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to identify owners in accidents. That is if the vehicles and boats were not registered.

    Think about it. We are now putting things in the sky above our heads. And non of the potentially falling objects are registered to their owners, for them to take responsibility. So what if someone premeditates using them illegally. Licensing drones will still have a mainstream advantage in identifying those responsible for when something goes wrong.

    And comparing this to guns, guns can be concealed. It is not easy to conceal a flying object.
  7. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Guru Posts: 394   +462

    Serious question - Is this a rational concern? Am I missing the news stories where people are blowing up first responders with drones?
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,790   +1,506

    Creating a No Fly Zone is relatively easy and cheap to do with off the shelf products. Jamming the feedback channel alone would make the drone uncontrollable. Getting more aggressive would crash the done taking most of the "fun" out of the escapade.

    Good luck with FAA registration -- just like when convicted of DUI the license is suspended but people drive anyway, registration would just be ignored or obliterated as with firearm serial numbers.
    Underdog likes this.
  9. Underdog

    Underdog TS Addict Posts: 104   +56

    All this idea will do is create jobs for someone setting up a data base, etc.
    Someone who wants to flout the rules will just put a false number on their toy.
    In London there are hundreds of unlicensed, uninsured drivers breaking all sorts of laws in stolen cars. They fit a plate that they copy from a similar car and pretend they are legal. Hit and run? No problem. Parking fines? No problem. Somebody else takes the flack.
  10. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,140   +833

    THE FAA basically controls the airspace. Thanks to all the morons flying these drones dangerously close to restricted areas...this was inevitable.
  11. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Guru Posts: 394   +462

    But all they're saying is they want it to be identifiable without having to take out the battery, because bombs...
  12. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Addict Posts: 175   +71

    Well I know a way to put a legit user in trouble. You do the crime with their licenses(legit users). So guess who would pay for that smart idea?
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,263   +4,931

    Yeah just like an owner would pay for a crime their stolen vehicle was involved in. Seriously ownership doesn't make anyone guilty. It only links them to the tools used. Which is at least a breadcrumb trail as apposed to not having any clues.
  14. lazer

    lazer TS Addict Posts: 235   +56

    It is very possible that terrorists can put a bomb on a drone and fly it over a mass gathering and explode it, based on some Islamic groups desires to wipe out the USA it can be a real concern....
  15. VBKing

    VBKing TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +28

    What??? Any terrorist that would use a drone to explode around people would NOT be following any law and put their registration number, name, address or any identifiable info on their drone, so any argument saying it's needed to prevent an act of terrorism is an empty argument.

    What gusticles41 was saying is that this law is being passed based on an argument that it's making law enforcement officials safer because the battery compartment won't have to be opened now because they're saying bombs are being put in the battery compartment. gusticles41 is rightfully saying for officials to show us the proof of their argument. Show us the 50 stories where this has happened. Show us the 20 stories. How about 5 stories? How about 1 story that has happened in this country???

    I just did a google search and found only ONE story where this happened and killed two Kurdish fighters in IRAQ. So let's pass a law because something happened on the other side of the globe. What the USA is basically saying here is if you don't put your registration number on the outside of your drone, then they will basically have the right to just blow it up first and ask questions later.
    gusticles41 and cliffordcooley like this.

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