FAA to automatise drone registration


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is testing a new drone authorisation programme to automatise US Drone registration.

Announced at the FAA’s UAS symposium in Baltimore, the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) automated system will allow for real-time processing of drone authorisations.

The FAA has partnered with aviation infrastructure companies AirMap, Project Wing, Rockwell Collins and SkyWard to provide LAANC services at its facilities. It is looking to bring additional companies on board starting 16 April 2018.

The system is necessary to support the fast-increasing number of drones in US airspace. The total number of drones registered in the US in 2018 has now surpassed one million – almost double the 600,000 that were registered as of January 2017.

The influx of registrations is set to increase since the FAA introduced the Part 107 rule in December 2017. The rule dictates that operators must secure approval from the agency to operate small drones (classed as any drone under 55lbs) in controlled airspace.

Whilst the FAA has introduced mandatory registration of small drones, it has only taken action against one US owner for not registering a drone. Outside of Part 107 rules and Section 336 (mandatory registration for hobby and recreational use only), there is no regulation on the drone market.