The DJI Phantom 3 Standard drone.
Courtesy of DJI
By Jonathan Vanian
October 22, 2015

Earlier this week, the U.S. Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration announced that drone hobbyists would have to register their aircraft or face unspecified penalties. A task force filled with representatives from drone companies, drone advocacy groups, and aviation organizations will recommend how to set up the new system.

On Wednesday, the federal government revealed more details showing that the group will consider a number of potentially controversial issues like whether drone owners must pay a registration fee. The document highlights the minute detail that still must be worked out along with the role the public may play in shaping the final rules.

Here’s some of the issues the task force will ask the public to weigh in on:

1. At what point should the registration occur? Should it be done after one buys a drone or before one actually flies it?

2. How should the registration process account for a person who buys a drone and then gives the aircraft to another person?

3. Should there be a registration fee?

4. Are there any types of drones that should be excluded from the registration process? What are the reasons for these drones to be excluded?

5. What information should be collected during the registration process?

6. How should registration data be stored?

7. Who has access to the registration data?

The public has 15-days to share their views online, by mail, or by fax. The task force must report their findings back to the Transportation Department by November 20. The goal is to have the registration system operational by the holidays, in time for the legions of people who are expected to buy drones.

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