FAA announces registration regulation task force

By Ann Bailey | October 29, 2015

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday announced 25 members who will make up its unmanned aircraft systems registration task force.

The task force will develop recommendations for a registration process for UAS. Members will advise the FAA on which aircraft should be exempt because their safety risk is low. That includes toys and other small UAS, the agency said. The task force also will look at options to make the registration process less of a burden for UAS operators.

Members were invited to join the task force, but participation on it is voluntary. Registering unmanned aircraft will help build a culture of accountability and responsibility, especially with new users who are in inexperienced  in operating in the United States aviation system, said Andrew Foxx, FAA secretary. Registration also will help protect public safety in the air and on the ground, he said.

The agency daily receives reports of potentially unsafe UAS operations and manned aircraft sightings of UAS doubled between 2014 and 2015, FAA said. Reports vary from incidents at major sporting events to interference with wildlife operations, the agency said.

The FAA, the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and State, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will provide support to the task force. Susan Marlow, president of Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors, said in a news release her organization has actively called on FAA to move forward with rulemaking and is pleased and honored to participate in the task force.

Meanwhile, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Mark Baker also lauded the task force in a news release. Baker said his organization was glad to have the opportunity to be on the task force and that while the safety of the National Airspace System is paramount, “we also need to ensure that the regulations for unmanned aircraft are both right-sized and effective.”

The deadline for the task force to complete its recommendations is Nov. 20.  The group will meet from Nov. 3-5 before developing recommendations on how to streamline the registration process and the minimum requirements on which UAS should be registered.

Members named Thursday to the FAA registration task force are:

-- 3D Robotics (Nancy Egan)

-- Academy of Model Aeronautics  (Richard Hanson)--   Aerospace Industries Association (George Novak)

-- Air Line Pilots Association (Chuck Hogeman and Randy Kenagy)

-- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (Jim Coon)

-- Amazon Prime Air (Sean Cassidy)

-- Amazon Retail (Ben Gielow)

-- American Association of Airport Executives (Justin Towles)

-- Association of Unmanned Vehicles International (Brian Wynne)

-- Best Buy (Parker Brugge)

-- Consumer Electronics Association (Douglas Johnson)

-- DJI (Brendan Schulman)

-- General Aviation Manufacturers Association (Paul Feldman)

-- GoogleX (Dave Voss)

-- GoPro (Tony Bates)

-- Helicopter Association International (Matt Zuccaro)

-- International Association of Chiefs of Police (Mike Fergus)

-- Management Association  for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (John Perry)

-- Measure (Brandon Declet) -- National Association of State Aviation Officials (Randall Burdett)

-- National Business Aviation Association (Sarah Wolf)

-- Parrot (Baptiste Tripard)

-- PrecisionHawk (Tyler Collins)

-- Small UAV Coalition (Gregory McNeal)

--Walmart (Thomas Head)