AI News, FAA Task Force Recommends Registration for All Drones 250 Grams and Up
- On Sunday, February 18, 2018
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FAA Task Force Recommends Registration for All Drones 250 Grams and Up
To come up with the 250-gram minimum mass, the Task Force cited a study showing that “an object with a kinetic energy level of 80 joules (or approximately 59 foot-pounds) has a 30 percentprobability of being lethal when striking a person in the head,” and then solved for a reasonable mass and velocity (250 grams traveling at 25 m/s).
By estimating the mean time between failures of sUAS and making the assumption that sUAS would be flying over densely populated urban areas (even though they’re not supposed to), the Task Force came up with a ground fatality risk of “4.7 x 10-8, or less than 1 ground fatality for every 20,000,000 flighthours of an sUAS.” This is about 10 times more dangerous than the acceptable risk levelsforcommercial aviation(air transport of passengers and cargo), and 1000 times safer than the actual risk levels forgeneral aviation(which includes commercial aviation plus all other kinds of flying things), and the Task Force judged this to be “a reasonably acceptable risk level.” This wasn’t an easy decision for the Task Force to make, as the report notes: “The Task Force spent considerable time discussing and deliberating about what the appropriate weight threshold should be.
Some also felt there was insufficient time afforded to fully evaluate the calculations and assumptions made that resulted in the 250 gram cutoff weight, particularly because the typical approved operation of small UAS, unlike the typical operation of manned aircraft, does not involve flight over unprotected people.
Certain task force members noted that the FAA’s 25 years of bird strike data show thatfatal aircraft accidents caused by small and medium birds (weighing four pounds on average) are extremely rare despite the presence of billions of birds within the low altitudes where small UAS typically fly, and urged the FAA to select a weight that posed a similar safety risk.” Having said all that, the Task Force is recommending the 250 gram threshold for registration, and that’s that, although they did ask the FAA to avoid using this threshold for anything but registration: they’re not saying that >250 grams is somehow “less safe” and <250 grams is somehow “more safe”—this is just what they came up with as a registration cutoff, and nothing else.
FAA Task Force Proposes Registration Procedure For Drones Weighing More Than 250 Grams
Earlier this month, the FAA convened a task force to work out a proposal for drone registrations.
As expected, the task force published its report today and it looks like you will indeed soon have to register your drone before you’re allowed to fly it.
Here are the basics of the recommendations (which the FAA is likely to follow): The idea here, of course, is to be able to identify drone owners who fly in restricted airspace (or who crash their drones).
Meeting deadlines isn’t the FAA’s strong suit, but the idea here is clearly to have these rules out before the next wave of drone owners ends up crashing their Christmas gifts into their neighbors’ trees.
Press Release – FAA Announces Small UAS Registration Rule
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx.
I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.” Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft. Under this rule, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016.
“Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users before they fly so they know the airspace rules and understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly.” The online registration system does not yet support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation – for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business.
Registering drones with the FAA should be easy and free, task force says
A government task force that is helping to plan a national drone registration system says the registration process should be simple and free, because onerous requirements could hinder the market for small unmanned aircraft.Further ReadingGot a drone?
Drones weighing 250 grams or less shouldn't have to be registered, the task force recommended, saying it came up with the weight-based exclusion 'based primarily upon an assessment of available safety studies and risk probability calculations.'
Task force members had 'often very divergent views,' and settled on the simple registration process in part because anything else 'would undermine the overall registration philosophy that enabled the Task Force to come to consensus,' the report said.
'If a registrant chose to provide the FAA with the aircraft’s serial number, the registrant would not be required to further mark the sUAS with the FAA-issued registration number, as long as the serial number meets the requirement of being readable, legible, and readily accessible (without the use of tools) upon visual inspection,' the task force said.
'Current registration-related penalties (perhaps exceeding $25,000) were established in order to address and deter suspected drug traffickers and tax evaders who failed to register aircraft as part of larger nefarious schemes,' the report said.
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