FAA to Require Registration for Recreational Drones

Commercial pilots reporting 100 incidents every month

Pilots of passenger or commercial aircraft have reported interference from hobbyists' drones as often as 100 times a month. (Simon Fraser University/Flickr)

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that all recreational operators of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) would be required to register them with the government, according to the Washington Post

The added regulation on hobbyists is meant to curb incidents in which drones interfere with commercial air traffic or otherwise disturb or threaten public safety. Pilots of passenger or commercial aircraft have reported such interference as often as 100 times per month in the past year, a representative of the FAA told the Post.

Although registration is unlikely to solve the problem of rogue drone operators—investigators would have to retrieve a registration number from a crashed aircraft to hold the pilot responsible—officials hope that such a system will encourage drone owners to follow the rules. According to the FAA website, rules include limiting a drone’s altitude to 400 feet, keeping it at least five miles from any airport, and keeping it within the pilot’s line of vision. As Outside reported last February, the FAA has also established a rule for commercial drone pilots: Anyone who wishes to operate a commercial drone must have a UAS operator certificate, be at least 17 years old, and keep the speed of the drone below 100 mph.

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