Federal task force will recommend free and easy registration for consumer drones, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A federal task force will, as expected, recommend that civilians register their recreational drones, but ask that U.S. officials make the process free and as easy as possible, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
A drone task force comprising 30 industry and government representatives was set up by the U.S. Department of Transportation and FAA last month to deliver recommendations for a federal drone registry. The group includes co-chairs Earl Lawrence, a top FAA drone official, and Dave Vos, head of drone projects at Alphabet, the parent company of Google GOOG . The group also includes representatives from the Airline Pilots Association, Amazon AMZN Prime Air, Walmart WMT , Best Buy BBY and Go Pro GPRO .
Most of the above-mentioned retailers would like to use drones for package delivery, and other tasks, but the push to create a special registry for drones (also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Systems by the FAA) came after a number of public snafus: including a drone crash at the U.S. Open tennis tournament and another close encounter with an LAPD helicopter. The registration would apply to any unmanned aerial vehicles weighing more than 250 grams (just over 9 ounces).
Unnamed sources characterized the recommendation as a compromise between drone makers and their proponents (who wanted registration to apply only to heavier models) and users (who didn’t want to comply with the FAA’s complicated registration process, which requires in-office visits and can take months).
Guy Haggard a board-certified aviation attorney with GrayRobinson, Orlando, Fla., said registration is “overkill for small drones that are really just toys.”
“The FAA requires registration of all aircraft already and drones are considered aircraft, but model aircraft used for hobby purposes are exempt from regulation by the FAA by law. So the upcoming registration rules I would speculate should provide exemptions. But we will see,” Haggard said via email.
Since it appears that the registration is only a recommendation and not mandatory, it’s unclear what penalty, if any, there would be for consumers who fail to apply.
The FAA could not be reached for comment but Fortune will update this story as needed.
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