Sunday, December 13, 2015

FAA's New Approach to UAS Registration




The FAA has determined that it is time in the development of UAS regulation and operation  to enforce the applicability of the statutory requirements regarding aircraft registration to UAS, including those operating as model aircraft. Consequently, the FAA issued a Clarification and Request For Information document in Clarification of Applicability of Aircraft Registration Requirements for Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Request for Information Regarding Electronic Registration (“Clarification”) in Docket No. FAA-2015-4378, Federal Register No. 2015-26874 effective on October 22, 2015.  This is a significant change in existing regulatory practice, as historically, the FAA, through the exercise of its discretion, has not enforced the statutory requirements for aircraft registration in 49 U.S.C. 44101 for model aircraft.  To assist the process, the Department of Transportation formed a UAS registration task force to explore and develop recommendations to streamline the registration process for UAS to ease the burden associated with the existing aircraft registration process, which was outdated (regulations required the submission of registration applications on paper) and remarkably complicated.

Robert E. Kelly on behalf of NetMoby, Inc., on November 6, 2015, submitted comments in reply to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) Clarification of Applicability of Aircraft Registration Requirements for Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Request for Information Regarding Electronic Registration (“Clarification”) in Docket No. FAA-2015-4378, Federal Register No. 2015-26874, ID No. FAA-2015-4378-4362.  The comments were submitted to support the efforts of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Task Force to devise recommendations on the type of registration platform needed to accommodate small UAS, as well as the information that will need to be provided to register these aircraft.


NetMoby, in its comments submitted in the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Small UAS in Docket No. FAA-2015-0150, 80 Fed. Reg. 9,544 (February 23, 2015), emphasized that the FAA’s stated mission was explicit, i.e., being responsible for the safety of civil aviation.”  NetMoby appreciates that, for the FAA, safety is “The Foundation of Everything We Do.”  Consequently, NetMoby prepared and submitted its comments in the Clarification proceeding through the prism of Safety First.


The following posts will discuss the FAA’s Clarification and the regulatory implications in more detail.

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