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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Drone Registration "mandatory" in the USA

For starters let me just say how much I hate the term "drone" used for generalizing all flying objects these days.  True the DJI Quadcopter does fly by the pilot viewing through a cell phone tethered to view the camera image of the device which could render this a drone, but not all flying objects have a "live camera" for flight. Regardless the term has unfortunately stuck.

It appears as of December 21, 2015, the FAA has made it mandatory for all persons to register their device otherwise you risk "serious fines and persecution".  Now me being from Canada you may think this doesn't apply, but as long as you are flying in US Airspace it most certainly does!

Now here is where I shake my head at things like this.. 

Much like Canada's mandatory Gun Registration, this sort of thing is dependent on the end-user's morals to abiding by all laws. 

Let's put it another way, in pretty much any scenario where your drone come crashing down where legal action is going to take place due to disregard to any sort of laws that may be in place such as air space restriction and designation and you haven't registered. Odds are you are simply going to walk away from this, kissing your $1000+ device goodbye.. a small price to pay right?! Whereas having it registered you have no choice but to go after your device because if you don't, you are not only going to be facing fines but criminal charges for desertion of your device, since this would show just cause for criminal action.  Go back and look at the Gun Registration guidelines again if you need to.

The simple fact is, I follow the rules that have been placed on flying this device the moment I took it out of the box. Not flying it higher than the 400 feet and certainly not flying it near any aircraft. In fact DJI has built in governors that won't let you fly near any airport and your device will simply not take off. Again, there are ways around this, by simply flying without GPS but once again you are doing something you KNOW is wrong the moment you do this.

It's like 1000 legitimate pilots out there and then there is 1 that ruins it for everyone else.  Don't get me wrong--I will be taking advantage of the "Free month" when registration begins, but that is only because I'm a cheap bastard that doesn't want to pay ANYTHING for this asinine regulation.  Think about the policing of this.. there won't be any! The only policing will be when a drone does something wrong, like falls out of the sky and hurts someone and then it makes it just that much easier to go after the owner when the owner is more than likely to come forward regardless of regulation or not.

The onus shouldn't be on the end-user here. If they are going to come out with regulations then each device should be sold with the registration happening at the time of the sale and any price of registration added to the price of the unit. Just like buying a boat or aircraft which all have registration identification clearly marked on the side of the craft.