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UAV registrations at 181,000; model aircraft group fights rule

UAV registrations at 181,000; model aircraft group fights rule
UAV registrations at 181,000; model aircraft group fights rule. FAA
<p><strong>FAA administrator Michael Huerta said the mandatory registration process for recreational unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has proceeded smoothly, with 181,000 registrations completed so far.</strong></p> <p>The number of registrations represents owners of UAVs weighing between .55 lbs. and 55 lbs.; an owner can register multiple vehicles using the same number. FAA launched a registration website Dec. 21.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re encouraged by the registration numbers we&rsquo;re seeing so far,&rdquo; Huerta said Jan. 6 in a speech at a consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas. He added that the 181,000 registrations &ldquo;is just the beginning. Now that we have set up the registration system, our challenge is to make sure everyone is aware of the requirement and registers.&rdquo;</p> <p>The sizable number of registrations has occurred despite a public campaign by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) that encourages the organization&rsquo;s members to &ldquo;hold off&rdquo; on registering. Owners of small, recreational UAVs who purchased their devices prior to Dec. 21 have until Feb. 19 to register.</p> <p>According to AMA&rsquo;s government regulations blog, the organization is telling members who owned UAVs prior to Dec. 21 to not register &ldquo;until advised by the AMA or until the FAA&rsquo;s legal deadline of Feb. 19.&rdquo;</p> <p>AMA has called FAA&rsquo;s UAV registration requirement an &ldquo;unnecessary regulatory burden on our members.&rdquo; The organization said the requirement &ldquo;is contrary to the intent of Congress,&rdquo; adding that it is &ldquo;fully considering all possible legal and political options.&rdquo;</p> <p>AMA said it is also working with FAA &ldquo;on an automated process allowing members to register through membership in the AMA [that] will allow modelers to use their AMA number as their registration number.&rdquo;</p> <p>FAA&rsquo;s registration website is now the only way for UAV owners to register. But Huerta said FAA is exploring &ldquo;new methods of making the registration process even easier for consumers. For example, we are working to support potential third-party applications, such as smart phone apps, that could enable manufacturers or retailers to scan a code on a drone and automatically register it.&rdquo;</p> <p>FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on AMA&rsquo;s &ldquo;hold off&rdquo; campaign.</p>