Today, the United States Department of Transportation put a task force in place to develop recommendations for a federal drone registry. The task force’s recommendations are due by November 20 and the government wants the registry in place by mid-December.
Drones are expected to be a huge deal under Christmas trees this year as the price and skill required continues to drop. Market speculations predict more than one million drones will be given as Christmas presents this year.
However, the drone registration will not only apply to new drone purchases but also drones that are already in use by consumers today.
How the federal government will pull this off remains to be seen. All signs point to the kind of logistical nightmare you expect the government to completely whiff on and bog the entire industry down in a bureaucratic mess.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics Government and Regulatory Affairs Representative, Rich Hanson, had a couple of minutes at the press conference today. During his statements, he attempted to stress the importance of choosing the appropriate limitations on size and weight of drones to be registered. The AMA has been a strong voice in the government’s regulation developments in recent years and we can only hope that it has enough influence to keep the government from over-regulating through this registration process.
With so many questions of how registration will work and how the government will enforce violations, it is certainly plausible that this news could have a chilling effect on holiday shoppers looking to pick up drones for their loved ones.
It was only a matter of time before this happened.
Still not 100% clear on what this means for photo/video folks who make a living on their photo/video work. Are they still required to get FAA licenses to fly a DJI Phantom or similar quadcopter (aka drone)?
Clients are asking for drone footage and I cannot legally provide it since I am not licensed for commercial usage and cannot obtain the proper insurance and licenses to do so. How do the law-abiding small business owners work within the government restrictions without risking loss of business, fines, and/or lawsuits? It’s a mess and it’s costing me business.
It will be interesting to see how this all works out.
To oversimplify things, it’s almost like being expected to have a license and insurance to operate a motor vehicle.
Hopefully they make some consideration for those who do this for a living, compared to people who just fly them for fun. Especially since professionals aren’t (usually) doing stupid things with drones.