WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced October 29, 2015, the formation of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Task Force (RTF) for the purpose of developing recommendations for a registration process for UAS.
The task force is composed of 25 to 30 representatives from the unmanned and manned aircraft industries, the federal government, and other stakeholders. Among participants are representatives of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Academy of Model Aircraft (AMA), Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Helicopter Association International (HAI), PrecisionHawk, AirMap, Small UAV Coalition, and Consumer Electronics Association.
At the task force’s first meeting, November 3, 2015 at FAA Headquarters, FAA Administrator Huerta stated that the task force will advise the department on which aircraft should be exempt from registration due to a low safety risk, including toys and certain other small UAS, and explore options for a streamlined system that would make registration less burdensome for commercial UAS operators. The task force may make additional safety recommendations as it deems appropriate.
DOT Secretary Foxx has directed the group to deliver its report by November 20, 2015, with a goal of registration rules to be in place by mid-December, ahead of what some have estimated to be the purchase of one million drones as Christmas gifts.
Related to this initiative, the FAA has released the beta version of a new smartphone application called “B4UFLY,” which alerts UAS operators to restrictions or requirements in effect at their current or planned flight location.