If you were to ask members of the Federal Aviation Administration—FAA, for those of us who love acronyms—about their overarching opinions on recreation drone usage, you’d probably get kicked out of their headquarters for inspiring an unprecedented amount of nervous breakdowns.
Task force: Engage
That’s because the FAA has been scrambling to keep up with the quickly-growing hobby since its debut; unlike past aviation-related regulations, there is little in the way of legislature to provide a basis of comparison when it comes to drone use. All this confusion may be about to change, however. The FAA recently created a task force for the sole purpose of alleviating some of the common issues associated with the above lack of experience.
The result? A proposal for brand-new legislature that would require owners to obtain registration before legally operating their drones.
This recommendation came after careful consideration of this year’s accidents, including an impromptu sight-seeing foray that took the drone dangerously close to the White House, a crash at the U.S. open, and more invasion of privacy lawsuits than one can count.
Under this recommended regulation, all a pilot would need to provide is their name and address in order to receive a unique registration code. The code would then be applied to any and all drones under their ownership, which would, in turn, serve to identify them in case of accident or emergency.
Yep, it’s that easy.
But hear me out on the corgi thing
If passed, this law will affect anyone with a drone weighing between 250 grams and 55 pounds. Unless you’ve somehow found a way to attach rotors and a camera to your pet corgi, it seems unlikely that you’ll have access to anything over that 55 pound rule—and the moral majority of drones surpass the bare minimum—so nearly 100 percent of pilots will be covered with this simple registration.
Common sense rules
Keep in mind that, in the absence of strict, concrete guidelines for your personal use, common sense and caution should be your two utmost priorities when flying. Drone use is remarkably free for the time being; the only thing that will change that is reckless behavior. Hopefully, this registration proposal will serve to regulate the market just enough to cut down on the number of future accidents, but only time will tell.