FAA Announces Impending Rule: All Drones And Model Aircraft to be Registered
Today, the FAA announced
that it intends to create a rule effective mid-December 2015 requiring model aircraft and small “drones” to be registered with the agency. Drones are included in the term ‘‘model aircraft’’ which means an unmanned aircraft that is flown within line of sight and for hobby or recreational purposes.
When the Congress gave FAA’s its marching orders in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act it stated in Section 336 that ” the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft” if it was used for hobby or recreational use. But that is exactly what the FAA seems to have announced today that it would be doing – imposing a regulatory requirement on the operators of model aircraft used for hobby or recreational use by requiring them to be registered.
Therefore, any plan to require registration of model aircraft must foresee congressional support in the form of emergency legislation to be implemented prior to the imposition of this new rule.
If there is no emergency legislation from Congress, we expect the registration rule to be challenged in court.
Attorney Jeffrey Antonelli is available for questions regarding this registration requirement by contacting him at 312-201-8310 or by using the contact form below