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Appeals Court Strikes Down FAA Drone Registration Rule

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But hold on - this is not about an industry.  this is about hobbyist and model aircraft use only.  At least for now.

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It is settled.  This case was an appeal to the original FAA ruling and states that the FAA did not have the authority to make the ruling in the first place.

Congress could change the FAA's authority regarding Section 336 but that's unlikely.  Even if they do the FAA is still prohibited from promulgating any rule or regulation regarding model aircraft without due process which means they would have to go through the same NPRM process that they went through for Rule107.

Most of the outrage against the registration was a result of the process and that the database of operators is open to the public.  That makes model aircraft owners second class citizens.  It was an infringement of our civil rights.  This case was over before it began.  It made for good media fodder.

There's going to be similar wild a$$ speculation about this ruling in the same way there was before the NPRM was issued February 15, 2015.  Do you remember that?  Everyone was an expert and preached doom and gloom.  But when the FAA follows its own NPRM process they mostly get it right.  Rule107 was no where near as restrictive as the experts at the AMA, the Small UAV Coalition and all the other alphabet organizations.

This is like indigestion, it too will pass... 

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I do wonder if the FAA will try to fight back. I think their efforts to create a registration system were in the right direction. 

I also thought it was interesting that the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International was against the ruling while the Academy of Model Aeronautics was for it.

Obviously this ruling doesn't apply to commercial uses of drones...but does it open the door for possible attack on this as well?

Also, if the interpretation of the DC circuit court is followed then drones would now technically be "model aircraft" instead of "aircraft" which could open up numerous cans of worms!

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4 hours ago, Up Sonder said:

Obviously this ruling doesn't apply to commercial uses of drones...but does it open the door for possible attack on this as well?

Also, if the interpretation of the DC circuit court is followed then drones would now technically be "model aircraft" instead of "aircraft" which could open up numerous cans of worms!

So anyone flying under 336 does not have to register their drone....not a big deal. Hobbyists really shouldn't have to register. So now they can save $5 US...that buys what? A cup of coffee?

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5 hours ago, Up Sonder said:

I do wonder if the FAA will try to fight back. I think their efforts to create a registration system were in the right direction. 

I also thought it was interesting that the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International was against the ruling while the Academy of Model Aeronautics was for it.

Obviously this ruling doesn't apply to commercial uses of drones...but does it open the door for possible attack on this as well?

Also, if the interpretation of the DC circuit court is followed then drones would now technically be "model aircraft" instead of "aircraft" which could open up numerous cans of worms!

This is kind of a religious debate where everyone gets angry and no one is right. 

It was never really about the $5 nor about registering your drone.  If you were reregistering your drone there would have been a number for every drone, they were registering users.  Then they made the database public.

It had nothing to do with nor did it make drones safer of protect non user's privacy.  This made drone operators who registered their drones second class citizens.

Everyone should be for this ruling.  You can be for this ruling and still support registration.  The FAA cannot unilaterally impose its will on everything that flies.  There's a process the FAA MUST go through to create rules.  Also keep in mind the FAA does not make laws, only congress can make a law.  There are several reasons for this.     

This is a general statement - Most of the companies and organizations who are against this ruling have been using the regulatory process as a way to gain a competitive or political advantage.  The primary reason for the NPRM process is to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

The FAA is prohibited from regulating commerce.  They can not create rules that are arbitrary, capricious or promulgate any rule without going through the NPRM process. This process provides the public the opportunity to review and have input into the development of the rules that govern them.  This prevents large companies from influencing the process in a way that regulates out competition.  

There are companies out there that don't respect or believe that individuals should be involved in this process.  

"VP of Policy & Legal Affairs Brendan Schulman said in a statement offered to TechCrunch. “I expect the legal issue that impedes this program will be addressed by cooperative work between the industry and policymakers.”

 

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Glad that your enjoying it and welcome.

Its equally nice to see newcomers who like to be a part of constructive debate.

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@Av8Chuck Totally understand your point. I wonder if you think registration, if done through the proper channels (NPRM process), is a good idea?

Also I wonder what everyone thinks about the fact that this case defines drones as "model aircraft" while before they will technically "aircraft"...will this open up a can of worms legally speaking?

Drones really aren't model aircraft and they really aren't aircraft...maybe a better definition is needed?

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What problem does registering drones solve?

Does it make the general public safer?  Does it make the drone operator safer?  Does it protect users and non-users privacy?  If you think it does, please enlighten everyone how drone registration solves these problems.  Drone registration was active when the idiot who flew the Karma at the baseball game, did it prevent him from flying it?  They caught the guy in the parking lot, registration had nothing to do with apprehending him.  You can't legislate stupid, but you can make stupid legislation and this drone registry was created for all the wrong reasons.

Don't get me wrong I'm not opposed to drone registration, if its done legally.  Part of the motivation for this policy was the belief that there would be 1 million drones sold over the holiday's in 2015.  That didn't happen.  In this article it mentions that there will be 7 million drones sold by 2020, did that number come from the same people who predicted that there'd be 1M drone's sold during Christmas?  I live in the Los Angeles area and I can go weeks without ever spotting a drone.  

Do you know how many people have been killed in the past eight years by a civilian drone? NONE! Do you know how many people have been killed in manned aviation and drunk driving accidents over the same time period?  Maybe general aviation should be grounded in favor of drones because their a lot safer...  

Another ridiculous reason for this regulation was to appease the general public.  The election did more to appease the public than the drone registry. While the media was busy covering that, they forgot about us.

"The thinking regarding the first function is pretty simple. If your drone is registered, you’ll probably be more likely to think twice before you fly into protected airspace, over crowds, or in other scenarios that may endanger people. Registration also protects drone pilots themselves, by allowing clear identification of who was piloting what, and whose responsibility is tied to a particular drone."  

First of all, the FAA didn't register drones, they registered operators.  You could place as many drones on your registration as you wanted and you weren't required to make the registration numbers visible, they just needed to be on the drone.  Also, not only did this registration not make it clear who was operating a drone, when the FAA made the registry available online they put the drone operator ate risk.  Don't drone operators have the same rights for privacy and safety as none drone operators?  

This was an ill-conceived policy.  

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Hobbyists should be restricted to their own private property for flying.  Most observers of drones won't differentiate between hobbyist and commercial flight operations. Hobbyists may be excellent operators. We can hope they are as focused on safe operation as certificate holders are and the industry should encourage the hobbyists to become informed of safe flying and developing industry regulation. If flying in areas other than their own private property,  hobbyists should be required to take the knowledge test and carry insurance. Is this too early in the development of the industry to ask for this?

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9 hours ago, Alan Perlman said:

@Up Sonder I think registration is a GREAT idea.

@Zacc Dukowitz did a good job summing up our team's thoughts on why we're bummed about there not being any recreational drone registration over here.

Alan Perlman, I see your comment about UAS registration being a great idea. While I don't disagree in the the larger scope, I do disagree on how the current rules have been implemented. 

While I'm not against drone regulation, I am against it when it is done as a knee-jerk reaction based on perception instead of facts. If someone is going to introduce regulation, it should be well researched and reasonable, implemented in a way that benefits everyone and also does not retard economic growth. 

In the article you reference, Zacc Dukowitz says, "The first function is practical, and is about accountability." This is extremely short-sighted, as only people with some belief in personal responsibility will be the ones registering their drones. The ones who will misuse drones will not register and continue acting against the public good, regardless of FAA saber rattling.

Zacc Dukowitz also says, "The second function of the registration system is about public perception." I certainly agree with Av8Chuck that the regulations are in place to appease the public. But as this is supposed to be a government that is in place for all of the people, the large and growing number of sUAS pilots included, some time and care should have been taken to ensure equal consideration to ALL the people. The FAA has endeavored to suppress both commercial and hobby drone users because that is the easy path. But many times, as exemplified by the FAA actions in drone registration, the easy path is often the wrong path.

Then Zacc Dukowitz says, "Flying over people is also a scary scenario." The video he references isn't at all scary. The drone flew up, hard landed, and didn't hurt anyone. The idea of a "scary scenario" is a demonstration of an overly fearful reaction from a public that has been taught to fear drones. Dukowitz does a little of his own sensationalization with the statement, "That video is pretty scary. Imagine being in the stands, and being uncertain whether those drone blades are going to come crashing into you."

This reflects back to appeasing the public at the expense of drone operators. Many people have run tests based on the idea of the "dangerous drone". One of the most notable is from the drone episode of Mythbusters. They try very, very hard to inflict serious injury with a commercial-grade drone and do not succeed. Sure, one can state that, yes, some people are very occasionally hurt by drones. But people drown in pools. People break toes by stubbing them into tree roots. People occasionally hurt themselves or others working in their home workshops. And the idea of regulating pools, trees, and home workshops is ludicrous.

I feel that the hobby registration system and the one that exists for commercial use were the result of a high-ranking administration official telling the FAA to "do something about those drones". The FAA, not having a full grasp of the sUAS community and its equipment, put something into place that was poorly conceived and implemented. 

Edited by ocediis
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As a hobbyist pilot for 40 years, a private pilot of 35 years, a UAV pilot of 6 years -  back into the USA from a country where nothing flies that is not registered and NO private JOY flying, as well, knowing and understanding the issues we have here in the USA regarding homeland security and preparedness, WITHOUT WANTING to add FEAR into the equation, CONCERN sounds better, we should understand and believe that registration is SMART and NOT a lot to ask of those who are willing to follow the rules.  Holding people accountable is SMART and teaching YOUNG hobbyist to be responsible in my opinion is the only way to go .. therefore registration should be a MUST. 

I recently worked through an issue where I had applied for a flight zone waiver, (we all know how busy the FAA is and how hard they are working to handle the overwhelming numbers of registrants and waiver applications, from those trying to work within the regs.), for a project that required flying in one of the most sensitive Military airspaces.. a dedicated effort to achieve approval had failed on all fronts.. except when I spoke directly with the wing commander and on base FAA liaison, where they understood my needs to make a living and my dedicated respect for their position, we worked a time and dates that we could be allowed to perform a very low level mission to collect the data we need for the project. 

I made the the telephone call to initiate the flight as planned, I initiated and within a few minutes of deployment, I had military police, city police and CIS surrounding me and requesting (forcefully but respectfully) to land the UAV and put my hands up..

Now.. within just a matter minutes following, they had connected the dots of my registration number (visible on UAV) with my UAV license ( handed them)  and then contacted their Flight control to learn that we were an authorized flight and I finished and all went away. 

The conversation i had with the officer in charge of CIS, was thanks for my cooperation and when I asked why was my flight not registered to all services preventing their need to respond.. he replied that they have several hundred incidents from unauthorized, hobbyists trying to fly near the base that they have no way of knowing WHO is WHO and until they checked my registration (EVEN AS I FLEW  exactly the plan submitted)  were they able to stop being ON DEFENSIVE and change their own mission TO AWARENESS. 

We need to have registration and I am fully forward thinking to tracking devices (transponders / ID) to keep our skies safe and people on THE LEVEL..  

Lastly, then off my soap box.. I am openly concerned abut ALL of the Hobbyist that will collect a fee for using their NON-REGISTERED UAV as a source of income, and likely will not have proper insurance and likely skating over some of the Part 107 regulations we must follow.. and if their UAV is caught in an illegal situation or operation that turns destructive and or causes injury such as responding to a fire or police incident, they lose the UAV and are not held responsible because they are not registered.. 

We need to know as a public airspace - all that flies over our heads and whomever is at the controls is qualified and certified.. 

 

 

 

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I'm a long-time certified aircraft pilot (started flying lessons with my father at age 12) and when we UAV pilots were required to register as hobby flyers, I did so a nanosecond after midnight on the first day the FAA was taking registration.

It was painless, cost $5 and it shows a person is more than likely someone who isn't going to be doing idiotic things with a drone.

We all have license plates on our vehicles and I suspect the overwhelming majority of UAV hobby pilots are not profession drivers having commercial licenses. Having the ability to track-down those who are reckless and irresponsible with their hobby drones is not a great way to weed out the trouble makers but it is a "way" to track them down should they cause harm, inflict damage, use a UAV to harass people etc.

I've gone the extra mile and not only have affixed my required FAA info to my 4 UAVs, but my name and phone number are clearly placed on the top side of all 4.

5 bucks, 5 minutes on the FAA website and it's no skin off of anybody's back to be one of the "good guys" in the skies. We all need to realize, we have to do more in developing good public relations with people outside of the UAV industry (the "normal" news is always filled with bizarre stories about rogue drone dudes) and being registered is $5 bucks and 5 minutes and quicker and less complicated than making a stop at a burger joint.

Blue Skies all and less wind...

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2 hours ago, winstonsalemdrone said:

Hobbyists should be restricted to their own private property for flying.  Most observers of drones won't differentiate between hobbyist and commercial flight operations. Hobbyists may be excellent operators. We can hope they are as focused on safe operation as certificate holders are and the industry should encourage the hobbyists to become informed of safe flying and developing industry regulation. If flying in areas other than their own private property,  hobbyists should be required to take the knowledge test and carry insurance. Is this too early in the development of the industry to ask for this?

Too early to start the development of which industry?  Model aircraft aviation has been around since before manned flight which is why section 336 of the Modernization Act exists.  And what about someone who would like to fly but lives in an apartment.  Aside from the participants, no one seems to have cared about this "hobby" for more than 100 years.  It has been self regulating and  without major incident that would warrant the kind of regulation that is being suggested.  It all starts with registration.

2 hours ago, ocediis said:

Alan Perlman, I see your comment about UAS registration being a great idea. While I don't disagree in the the larger scope, I do disagree on how the current rules have been implemented. 

While I'm not against drone regulation, I am against it when it is done as a knee-jerk reaction based on perception instead of facts. If someone is going to introduce regulation, it should be well researched and reasonable, implemented in a way that benefits everyone and also does not retard economic growth. 

In the article you reference, Zacc Dukowitz says, "The first function is practical, and is about accountability." This is extremely short-sighted, as only people with some belief in personal responsibility will be the ones registering their drones. The ones who will misuse drones will not register and continue acting against the public good, regardless of FAA saber rattling.

Zacc Dukowitz also says, "The second function of the registration system is about public perception." I certainly agree with Av8Chuck that the regulations are in place to appease the public. But as this is supposed to be a government that is in place for all of the people, the large and growing number of sUAS pilots included, some time and care should have been taken to ensure equal consideration to ALL the people. The FAA has endeavored to suppress both commercial and hobby drone users because that is the easy path. But many times, as exemplified by the FAA actions in drone registration, the easy path is often the wrong path.

Then Zacc Dukowitz says, "Flying over people is also a scary scenario." The video he references isn't at all scary. The drone flew up, hard landed, and didn't hurt anyone. The idea of a "scary scenario" is a demonstration of an overly fearful reaction from a public that has been taught to fear drones. Dukowitz does a little of his own sensationalization with the statement, "That video is pretty scary. Imagine being in the stands, and being uncertain whether those drone blades are going to come crashing into you."

This reflects back to appeasing the public at the expense of drone operators. Many people have run tests based on the idea of the "dangerous drone". One of the most notable is from the drone episode of Mythbusters. They try very, very hard to inflict serious injury with a commercial-grade drone and do not succeed. Sure, one can state that, yes, some people are very occasionally hurt by drones. But people drown in pools. People break toes by stubbing them into tree roots. People occasionally hurt themselves or others working in their home workshops. And the idea of regulating pools, trees, and home workshops is ludicrous.

I feel that the hobby registration system and the one that exists for commercial use were the result of a high-ranking administration official telling the FAA to "do something about those drones". The FAA, not having a full grasp of the sUAS community and its equipment, put something into place that was poorly conceived and implemented. 

Very well said.  The point that I attempted to make and is much better articulated here is that the facts don't justify the regulatory action.   Using arbitrary sales figures as regulatory justification is prohibited.  No government agency can create laws or regulations that are arbitrary and capricious.  This is the very reason for this law.  It doesn't matter how many drones are being sold, it doesn't matter if some idiot flies in a ball park or lands on the White House Lawn, those might be good examples of why we might need certain regulations but they cannot BE the reason for them.  There's a process for rule making that the FAA did not follow.  If it had then they would have been forced to resolve the issue of section 336 and a much more reasoned approach would have been taken.  I'm guessing the FAA thought that was a non starter and tried to circumnavigate section 336. 

43 minutes ago, Scott Darrell Jones said:

As a hobbyist pilot for 40 years, a private pilot of 35 years, a UAV pilot of 6 years -  back into the USA from a country where nothing flies that is not registered and NO private JOY flying, as well, knowing and understanding the issues we have here in the USA regarding homeland security and preparedness, WITHOUT WANTING to add FEAR into the equation, CONCERN sounds better, we should understand and believe that registration is SMART and NOT a lot to ask of those who are willing to follow the rules.  Holding people accountable is SMART and teaching YOUNG hobbyist to be responsible in my opinion is the only way to go .. therefore registration should be a MUST. 

I recently worked through an issue where I had applied for a flight zone waiver, (we all know how busy the FAA is and how hard they are working to handle the overwhelming numbers of registrants and waiver applications, from those trying to work within the regs.), for a project that required flying in one of the most sensitive Military airspaces.. a dedicated effort to achieve approval had failed on all fronts.. except when I spoke directly with the wing commander and on base FAA liaison, where they understood my needs to make a living and my dedicated respect for their position, we worked a time and dates that we could be allowed to perform a very low level mission to collect the data we need for the project. 

I made the the telephone call to initiate the flight as planned, I initiated and within a few minutes of deployment, I had military police, city police and CIS surrounding me and requesting (forcefully but respectfully) to land the UAV and put my hands up..

Now.. within just a matter minutes following, they had connected the dots of my registration number (visible on UAV) with my UAV license ( handed them)  and then contacted their Flight control to learn that we were an authorized flight and I finished and all went away. 

The conversation i had with the officer in charge of CIS, was thanks for my cooperation and when I asked why was my flight not registered to all services preventing their need to respond.. he replied that they have several hundred incidents from unauthorized, hobbyists trying to fly near the base that they have no way of knowing WHO is WHO and until they checked my registration (EVEN AS I FLEW  exactly the plan submitted)  were they able to stop being ON DEFENSIVE and change their own mission TO AWARENESS. 

We need to have registration and I am fully forward thinking to tracking devices (transponders / ID) to keep our skies safe and people on THE LEVEL..  

Lastly, then off my soap box.. I am openly concerned abut ALL of the Hobbyist that will collect a fee for using their NON-REGISTERED UAV as a source of income, and likely will not have proper insurance and likely skating over some of the Part 107 regulations we must follow.. and if their UAV is caught in an illegal situation or operation that turns destructive and or causes injury such as responding to a fire or police incident, they lose the UAV and are not held responsible because they are not registered.. 

We need to know as a public airspace - all that flies over our heads and whomever is at the controls is qualified and certified.. 

Your conflating issues and/or it depends on your definition of "Registration."  We share a similar progression of experience.

Do you think you would  have gone on to be a pilot without your prior hobbyists experience?  And do you think you would have become a hobbyists pilot if there were a lot of regulations and training required before you could participate?  

Like skateboard parks, dirt bike and go cart tracks, model aviation has a special place in our society.  These are places where young people can go and learn, unencumbered by regulation, they can be mentored by older more experienced people on how to improve, be responsible and what's socially acceptable etc..  There's an intangible that not only rules and regulations can't account for, they get in the way.  This is the reason congress carved out model aviation from the FAA.  Registration doesn't teach anyone how to do anything and its current form doesn't hold anyone accountable    

Regarding commerce, the FAA cannot create rules to control commerce.  Not their mandate.  The rules and regulations are irrelevant to anyone who wants to use a drone for nefarious reasons so their punitive to those that follow them.  Like most things in a capitalists society, there will be people who initially use drones that don't follow all the regulations to make money. But if they're going to be successful a funny thing happens on the way to profitability, revenue becomes increasingly important and they have to become legitimate.  That's called being a startup.  I'm not advocating for people breaking the rules but I am opposed to the rules being developed or used for competitive advantage.  

Finally, We have flown a lot on military bases, don't confuse your ability to do your job with their inability to do theirs.  The bureaucratic ineptness on bases is something you just have to experience.  Just make sure the person on your side out ranks the guy yelling at you and you'll be OK.  We have been stopped every time we fly on base and they have never asked for registration.  They care about our 333, COA and or Part107 and insurance.    

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This is one of the better discussions we've had on this community forum, thanks to everyone for participating.

@Av8Chuck, good points. You wrote that "You can be for this ruling and still support registration." To clarify, that's where I sit when it comes to this issue. I respect our legal system and absolutely agree with the ruling. I also wholeheartedly support hobbyist registration.

I'm fascinated by what the next steps are re: this case in particular, but more interested in how aircraft / pilot / flight tracking pans out and is ultimately regulated down the road.

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Keep in mind that some of what your interested in might not need to be regulated.  That doesn't make me an anarchists, but safety and privacy aren't necessarily improved through regulation.

At AUVSI in Dallas the discussion is opening up to the possibility that drones might not need to be regulated in the way that many of the early proposals envisioned.  Part of the reason this court case is important, Up Sonder mentioned this earlier, is in the definition, but not only how "aircraft" are defined but also how "navigable airspace" is defined.  

The FAA only has jurisdiction over navigable airspace so if I'm flying a drone in and around tall trees, structures or in a canyon where manned aircraft can't fly anyway then there's no need to develop regulations to keep them separate.  Also considering that consumer drone manufacturers are repurposing off-the-shelf computer sensors, that can see maybe 30 meters and can only process that sensor data at approximately 15 frames per second, that technology is useless for collision avoidance as it relates to manned aviation.  For it to be useful it would require at least a one mile, more likely three to five mile standoff capability which is probably three to five years away from being cost effective.

The floor of much of the NAS is 500' since drones are restricted to 400', with the exception of approach corridors into airports, why is there so much debate about how to regulate such a small percentage of airspace?   Civilian drones have not become the bane of society the way many pundits predicted three years ago.  Why all the paranoia?  

Here's a thought.  If you want to find out how popular you are see who comes to your party.  There are a lot of companies, politicians and government agencies showing up uninvited.  Why is flight tracking, pilot and drone registration, and GEO fencing so important?   Scott mentioned flying in countries with NO private flying.  I've flown in England, nothing against the English but it sucked.  An absolutely beautiful place to fly but they have user fees for everything.  Its has severely curtailed general aviation in Europe. 

In my opinion this is really about Pay-for-Play.  General Aviation in the US has been fighting this for as long as I can remember. When I purchased my plane and joined AOPA there were approximately 635,000 privately owned aircraft in the US, by AOPA's own admission there's less than 290,000 today.  When I started flying their was a several billion dollar surplus in the general aviation fund raised through the taxes on aviation fuel.  Plenty of money so it wasn't necessary for user fees.  Now with the reduction in tax base the FAA is looking for a new revenue stream and I'm betting it will be in the form of user fee's.  That's why its important for the FAA to classify drones as aircraft so they can justify charging user fees to cover the expense of integrating them into the NAS.  I don't want to be integrated into the NAS, I want to fly below it.  

 

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@Av8Chuck your point "The FAA only has jurisdiction over navigable airspace so if I'm flying a drone in and around tall trees, structures or in a canyon where manned aircraft can't fly anyway then there's no need to develop regulations to keep them separate." is a a valid one. I know you also mentioned the airspace near airports, but the majority of drone flights are going to happen where there are people. And in congested airspaces like Los Angeles or New York, flying below 400 feet can still cause issues with helicopters  and other public safety issues. There needs to be a way to identify drones...I'm not saying that the FAA current registration system is the correct way, but I am saying I think they were going in the right direction.

I think most people here agree some kind of registration should take place, and if the current DC Circuit Court hearing is upheld then how should a better registration system be developed that includes even hobbyists?

Below I will highlight some things I think (and some some things some of you said) are important as far as what registration should and shouldn't do. Not a complete list, just throwing ideas out there.

SHOULD:

-Find a new definition for drones that makes sense!

-Required all drones above a certain weight to be registered in a FAA database that is NOT shared publicity, but is available to authorizes.

-N Number should be visible on drone and should include something along the lines of DJI's electric identification framework (https://www.dji.com/newsroom/news/dji-proposes-electronic-identification-framework-for-small-drones)

-Support the idea that drones pilots should fly responsibility and can be be identified if they don't.

-Be implemented according to proper legal channels.

 

SHOULD NOT:

-Be a pay-to-play law.

-Publicly disclose personal info about drone pilots 

-Legislate for areas where it is not needed.

-Apply to flight below a certain number of feet (I'm going to say 200 feet). Or in rural areas or the airspace around an model aircraft port.

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Up Sonder said:

@Av8Chuck your point "The FAA only has jurisdiction over navigable airspace so if I'm flying a drone in and around tall trees, structures or in a canyon where manned aircraft can't fly anyway then there's no need to develop regulations to keep them separate." is a a valid one. I know you also mentioned the airspace near airports, but the majority of drone flights are going to happen where there are people. And in congested airspaces like Los Angeles or New York, flying below 400 feet can still cause issues with helicopters  and other public safety issues. There needs to be a way to identify drones...I'm not saying that the FAA current registration system is the correct way, but I am saying I think they were going in the right direction.

 

According to the FAA at the recent presentation they did at Addison airport yesterday, the FAA's jurisdiction starts at the height of your lawn and extends upwards into the atmosphere from there. BUT, in an enforcement issue, the courts will most likely take into consideration the tallest piece of property that you own on your land (the top of the barn, the tallest tree, a radio mast that is in compliance with regs, ect...)and included any airspace below that over your property as your own. (Doesn't have anything to do with registration but there, thought that was interesting.)

 

12 hours ago, Up Sonder said:

-Find a new definition for drones that makes sense!

-Required all drones above a certain weight to be registered in a FAA database that is NOT shared publicity, but is available to authorizes.

-N Number should be visible on drone and should include something along the lines of DJI's electric identification framework (https://www.dji.com/newsroom/news/dji-proposes-electronic-identification-framework-for-small-drones)

From Saturdays talk, the sUAS (drone is not an industry term) is as described in the regs you learned to get your license. It includes "model aircraft" under 55 pounds in weight. 

The information is publically available online because the citizens of this nation demanded transparency in government. Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it. Any government records are available as long as they meet the criteria laid out in the law. Your registration information is no big deal, trust me. If you know my name and where I work and which department, there is a hell of a lot of information that the public has no need, and in my opinion, any f'ing right to know about me at the touch of a fingertip because I am a government employee....public service my happy posterior.

N numbers are out. The deluge of registrations predicted when it was opened up caused the FAA to add the current new online system which issues and FA number instead, unless you register by the old method and are willing to wait up to six weeks as long as there are no mistakes on your application. Also, you are required to carry an N number is your UAS weighs 55 lbs and up.

 

Everyone gets their shorts in a bunch over registering a UAS and it really is not a big deal. You pay a lot more to register your vehicle every year, your property when it changes hands, you pay a registration fee to the courts to get married, for joining professional organizations, the list goes on and on. Everyone does it. No-one likes it. But it is the cost of owning/doing/belonging. If you are operating under the rules and obeying all the laws, what do you have to worry about? If you aren't, the powers that be should be able to identify you and take corrective/punitive action.

For most (~65%) of us, its five dollars every three years and you have to do without a Starbucks crappichino once. For ~25% of us, that would otherwise be predisposed to stray outside the boundaries, it might provide an extra incentive to do the right thing because they could be held accountable for doing something stupid or irresponsible. And for the remainder, it provides law enforcement with a tool to identify who the boneheads are that make it necessary for the rest of us to register and hold them accountable.

Life in these United States.....what a country.

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Number 1 - I want my money back from the FAA.  It's not fair.

Number 2 - We need a research study conducted by our membership.  It should be done to understand the impact between recreational, professional (non-paid) and paid professionals.  The court ruling does not mean that the FAA's concerns are not warranted.  They have some valid concerns.  Our membership has some valid concerns.  Individual pilots have concerns.  Isn't it time that we all get together, put our concerns together, and then draft membership policies and perhaps some legal regulations (i.e. 1.  we can create membership policies for flying at or below tree tops, 2. we can draft legal regulation exceptions for volunteer firefighters using drones to scope out hazardous fires, 3. we can draft legal regulations for flying above the tree tops with drone aircraft weighing over .5 lbs used for professional news casts, and so on).

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The short answer is no.  Only congress can make a law and government agencies have to follow a process for creating regulations.

But I believe your sentiment is correct, we need some type of trade organization that represents the interest of the drone industry.  Part of the challenge with that statement is how do you define the industry.

The AMA, FAA, commercial trade groups like AUVSI, all define it differently.  

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Does anyone know if the FAA has updated the 107 test to reflect this? I am about to take it but don't want to get something wrong because I am using the either the old registration rules  and they've updated or vice versa.

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