Drone Registration Requirement Lands - InformationWeek

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Drone Registration Requirement Lands
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Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
10/21/2015 | 11:34:17 AM
Re: Yes, but what if . . .
@Susan, I can't even begin to imagine the kind of paperwork required for a pizza delivery drone to land at the White House! It would be fun to watch, though...

One of the things the committee will have to wrestle with is where the cut-off is for registration. How big is "too big" to fly without registration? Will the criteria be weight, size, number of rotors? The criteria will have a huge impact on the industry, because it's a lead-pipe cinch that we'll see a huge number of drones that come in just below whatever the registration criteria might be.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
10/21/2015 | 11:27:45 AM
Re: These Things Shouldn't be Treated as Toys
@Susan, you're quite right: The operational ceiling of commercial aircraft is much higher than the operational ceiling of civilian drones. The problems occur when near airports, when commercial craft are at much lower altitudes, and when drones are near helicopters operating a low altitudes. That's when the commercial craft are at their most vulnerable, and when drones are well within their operating parameters.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
10/21/2015 | 11:25:07 AM
Re: What Will Registration Accomplish?
@Whoopty, I suspect that the major enforcement points will be at the site of incidents -- and at large drone-operator gatherings. The FCC can't sent people out looking for folks with illegal radios: It's hard to imagine the FAA sending out squadrons of enforcement officials to stand outside Toys R Us making sure everyone is registering their kids' gifts.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
10/21/2015 | 11:22:56 AM
Re: What Will Registration Accomplish?
@rradina, these are good questions. It's also quite true that it's easy to build your own drone out of electronics parts and Lego bricks. I think the real issue is which part of the drone is to be registered: the airframe? The flight controller? The ESC? What do you do with hobbyists who are constantly experimenting, crashing, and re-arranging the pieces?

Is the right answer to register the operator and have them put their registration ID on everything they fly? This is similar to the amateur radio model and could solve many problems.

Unfortunately, we don't know just yet -- but we're told that there will be an answer by the end of November!
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
10/21/2015 | 11:16:32 AM
Re: Prediction
@Michelle, I think that a reduction in drone sales is exactly what the hobbyist quad-copter manufacturers fear -- and something that the FAA would see as a good thing.

The real question is going to be just how complicated and expensive registration will be. If it's $5.00 and send in a postcard then I don't think it will have a huge impact. If it's $90 and a 3-page form, then it will hit sales very hard.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
10/21/2015 | 11:00:18 AM
Re: These Things Shouldn't be Treated as Toys
@Gary_El, we've had radio-controlled model airplanes and helicopters for years, some larger and carrying much more power than any of the quad- to octo-copters I've seen in the "drone" market. My question is why we haven't needed regulation before -- and why we continue to treat these other flying platforms differently.

What do you think the big difference is between the different types of flying models? Should we be treating them differently?
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
10/21/2015 | 10:54:31 AM
Yes, but what if . . .
Curt, 

"The push to do something to regulate drones and their operators comes on the heels of a number of incidents in which drones came close to commercial aircraft in flight, flew over and into the stands at sporting events, and landed on the lawns of the White House and US Capitol."

Back to the drone discussion we had earlier here I would say regulating the kind of drones mentioned above sounds smart, in place, and finally is going to happen. Now, for other kind of drones which don't even reach commercial aircraft altitutes I imagine there will be different regulations, right? e.g. pizza delivery drones.

But what about if the Obama girls want to order a pizza delivered by a drone on the lawns of the White House for their Friday movie night? :) 

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
10/21/2015 | 7:39:25 AM
Re: These Things Shouldn't be Treated as Toys
Gary, 

I might be wrong, but I believe not all the drones can fly as high as commercial aircrafts do. 

-Susan 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
10/21/2015 | 7:37:08 AM
Re: What Will Registration Accomplish?
Agreed, I'm not really sure how this could be enforced. Even if there were checks put in place when someone purchases a drone, or someone figures out a way to force registration before a drone can be turned on for the first time, someone will figure out a way around it. 

If people can get illegal guns, they can easily get ahold of illegal drones.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
10/20/2015 | 10:25:46 PM
What Will Registration Accomplish?
Are drone makers suddely making these devices with impregnible electronics and operating systems that can positively identify the registered owner when it crashes?  Does this work if it's easy to buy a Raspberry Pi and replace the flight control unit with an unregistered unit?

Just like jail breaking iOS and rooting Android, the Internet will be flush with those who want to erase their serial number and operate it without fear of being identified.

To thwart this, do we have FAA men-in-black roaming the countryside hunting for illegally operated drone transponders?  What's the end game?

Does registration include a background check, psychological profile and a cooling off period before you get the drone?
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