WASHINGTON, DC: December 21, 2015. Following Lufthansa's test of a drone at Frankfurt airport in December, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) has launched a registry for Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or drones at www.faa.gov.
Registration is free for the next 30 days and registrants will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft. Registration is valid for three years.
The FAA says all aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds including payloads, must be registered. The agency has partnered with several industry associations to educate the public about using drones. Tips include:
• Fly below 400 feet altitude.
• Keep your unmanned aircraft in sight at all times.
• Never fly near manned aircraft, especially near airports.
• Never fly over groups of people, stadiums or sporting events.
• Never fly near emergency response efforts.
Douglas Johnson, vice president, technology policy, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) commented: "We appreciate the FAA reminding state and local officials that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over UAS safety, including flight altitudes, flight paths and no-fly zones. State and local ordinances in these areas are invalid and preempted, and state and local requirements for drone registration are impermissible."
Johnson added that overzealous regulation would damage entrepreneurs and startups, stifle current job creation and hinder the economic potential of the drone sector.
"The safe integration of drones will provide life-altering innovations such as the rapid delivery of life-saving diagnostics and medicine, and remarkable improvements in crop production and efficiency. But to realize this remarkable potential, local officials must defer to the FAA on federal rules that allow for drone operation and provide for continued industry and government cooperation," he said.
The CTA is the trade association representing the US$285 billion U.S. consumer technology industry.