The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that it will be enforcing a rule in the Federal Register regarding a mandatory visible marking of drones. According to the new regulation, small unmanned aircraft owners will be required to display their FAA registration number on the external surface of their drone. The registration number is a unique identifier assigned by the FAA upon completion of the drone registration process. Today there are over 1,000,000 registered drones in the US, and more than 100,000 FAA part-107 certified pilots.
The rule will become effective on February 25, 2019, and it will replace the previous one which allowed drone owners to store the registration number in an enclosed compartment, such as the battery case. Pilots can place the registration number on any part, as long as it can be seen upon visual inspection of the drone’s exterior. The rule is a response to the growing concerns from law enforcement and security agencies about the potential risk of concealed explosives inside drones.
Today, there are only 14 LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) suppliers. In order to increase participation and raise the number of applicants, the FAA has started to considered more providers. As a result, the timeline for the application process has been extended.
Learn more about the revised process here.
The FAA is collaborating with the Department of Justice and Department of Defense to create strict regulations for drone operations flying in the vicinity of 41 national security sensitive facilities.
The full list of restricted facilities, and more information about this regulation can be found here. These restrictions will be effective on February 26th.