Press Releases

Sen. Warner Applauds FAA for Finalizing Registration Requirements for Recreational Drone Use

With an expected 700,000 drones to be sold this holiday season, the FAA announces new registration requirements for nearly all recreational drone owners

Dec 14 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement applauding the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for releasing a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS):

“I am pleased to see that the FAA has moved forward with a final registration rule for UAS. At a time when we could see as many as 700,000 UAS, or drones, sold during this holiday season, it is important that consumer UAS operators act safely and responsibly. Registration of these systems, along with a modest fee, will promote safety and help reinforce with the public that safe operation in the national airspace is critical to harnessing the potential for economic development and technological advancement that drones bring.

“Registration, along with education and training, is an important step in deterring reckless behavior. However, our focus needs to remain on finalizing comprehensive rules governing safe integration of UAS, including for commercial purposes, into the national airspace. I urge the FAA to finalize those comprehensive rules as soon as possible so that the United States stays globally competitive in fully embracing the potential this new technology brings.”

In October, Sen. Warner praised the FAA for their announcement that it will expand the Pathfinder Program – a public-private partnership to explore ways for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate safely in the U.S. – to include sensitive airport airspace, a move Sen. Warner called for last March.

Sen. Warner has long advocated for the testing and development of UAS technology, having worked with his Virginia and Maryland colleagues to urge federal officials to select the mid-Atlantic region to host a UAS test range for researching the safest and most effective ways to incorporate UAS into the existing airspace. The UAS test site at Virginia Tech – one of six such sites across the country – became operational last year.

More information about the FAA rules is available here