Industry News

Trump signs National Defense Authorization Act; drone registration is back

The drone registration rule issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2015 has been reinstated following US President Donald Trump’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act yesterday.

In December 2015, 800,000 people had registered online their small aircrafts that exceeded 55 pounds, before a federal judge dismissed the initiative on grounds that the FAA had no jurisdiction to issue such requirements. Difficulties in reinforcing the law are expected, as the FAA started returning the $5 registration fee.

The rule was created with the support of tech companies including Google and Amazon, and drone manufacturers such as Intel to ensure the safety of the drone industry. The drone’s ID number was connected to the owner’s name and address in the US government’s database. After complaints and lawsuits regarding the legality of the measure, the regulation became optional.

“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said in 2015 U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.”

Now that president Trump signed the rule into law, the FAA has jurisdiction over civilian drones.

“We welcome the reinstatement of registration rules for all small unmanned aircraft,” the FAA told TechCrunch. “Ownership identification helps promote safe and responsible drone operation and is a key component to full integration.”

“The bill contains several provisions that will help lay the foundation for more complex operations, such as mandating a coordinated effort between the FAA, FCC, and NTIA to report on spectrum needs for small UAS,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), in a written statement.

“Congress has clearly embraced the need to propel the country forward on the march toward full UAS integration, including beyond-line-of-sight operations, flights over people, access to higher altitudes and even package delivery. We look forward to working with both the House and the Senate to realize the full potential of UAS.”

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.