If your planning to buy a drone this holiday season, there is now reason to think twice.
The FAA's new task force has released a 14 page document outlining a new system of registering UAV'S (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or "drones," This new registration process will require all drones weighing over 250 grams, approximately half a pound, to register their drone by providing their name, address, and aircraft serial number, to the FAA. This will be done via an online submission form and will be completely free of charge. Upon submission, the FAA will issue a registration number, which will be sent to you through regular mail. All UAV's that have been registered must must have your registration number visible on the actually body of your aircraft at all times. This process has been upsetting to some hobbyists, but the FAA insists this system is a required safety measure to ensure new pilots are accountable for their actions, in the hoped they will treat each flight with a higher level or operational awareness, thus reducing possible dangerous incidents.
A big issue is the coming holiday season. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 drones will be purchased by consumers this holiday season. That means 400,000 aircraft (despite their size) will be occupying the airspace above the United States. A semi-freighting thought, if you figure that many new pilots will be pre-teen and teenage consumers, most likely with little to no flight experience. Clearly this poses a threat to aviation safety, but also to pedestrians, drivers, and anyone occupying the space below these 400,000 new aircraft. Although the new laws have not yet been implemented, their is little hope that much will be altered before release, so Americans will have to insure compliance as these new laws roll out. Just another consideration before buying a drone this holiday season.