Drone registration will be easy so don’t pay a firm for help, FAA says

Flying Drone
LU YAO/Shutterstock
With so many consumer drones now buzzing about in U.S. skies, and many more expected to take off over the holidays, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced a plan to make every owner register their flying machine with the government.

As a specially appointed task force looks at how best to implement the registry, which should be in place by the end of the year, the FAA this week advised owners to “think twice” about paying anyone for registration services, adding that the system will be pretty straightforward once it goes live.

The FAA told drone owners on Monday that “there’s no need to work with a ‘drone registration’ company” for filing an application for a registration number, adding that owners “should wait until additional details about the forthcoming drone registration system are announced later this month” before deciding whether to pay a business for assistance. It added that it already knows of at least one company offering such a service.

Driving home the point that you really don’t need to hand over any money in connection with the registry, the agency said it’s planning to introduce “a streamlined….registration process that will be simple and easy to complete.”

Although the FAA doesn’t give an explicit warning about the possibility of unscrupulous businesses hoping to make a fast buck out of its registration scheme, the underlying message is that people should approach any such service with caution.

The bottom line is: Check out the simplicity of the process when details on it are announced before making any decision about whether to pay a company for assistance. The FAA is making it sound like it’s going to require very little effort, so if you have difficulties with forms or simply hate filling them in, ask someone you know to lend a hand.

The agency cited a significant uptick in irresponsible drone flights – including an increasing number near airports and others disrupting firefighting activities – as the primary motivator for introducing the registry.

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