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FAA will require drones to display registration numbers externally

pmh1nic

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The FAA website still states the marking can be in the battery compartment as long as a tool isn't required to remove the cover.
 

Kdavis2269

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Here is the reasoning (from the FAA):

"Members of the law enforcement and security communities have expressed concern that the current rule, which allows registration numbers to be marked in an enclosed compartment, presents an imminent risk of harm to first responders. When responding to a security incident involving an unmanned aircraft, first responders seek to identify the owner or operator.[1] One way to do that is to obtain the registration number of the unmanned aircraft. Requiring first responders to physically handle a small unmanned aircraft to obtain the registration number poses an unnecessary safety and security risk to those individuals, as well as to others in the immediate proximity to the aircraft, because of the potential for the unmanned aircraft to conceal an explosive device in an enclosed compartment (such as the battery compartment), designed to detonate upon opening. Requiring small unmanned aircraft owners to place the registration number on an external surface of the aircraft helps to mitigate this risk because a first responder can view the number without handling the aircraft, or by using other technologies that allow for remote viewing of the aircraft's external surface."
 

pmh1nic

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As of 2/13/19 all US pilots have 10 days to comply. Apparently the rule change was not announced due to public safety concerns.

Federal Register :: Public Inspection: External Marking Requirement for Small Unmanned Aircraft

Thanks for providing the link.

That said this rule change and the reason stated for it sounds a little weak to me. If someone is going to put a bomb or chemical/biological agent in a drone do you really think they are going to put a registration number on it or use their own registration number? If all registration numbers are external how hard would it be to steal a registration number and put it on a drone? If the registration number is on the bottom of the drone in many cases someone is going to have to handle the drone to get to the registration number.
 
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Thanks for providing the link.

That said this rule change and the reason stated for it sounds a little weak to me. If someone is going to put a bomb or chemical/biological agent in a drone do you really think they are going to put a registration number on it or use their own registration number? If all registration numbers are external how hard would it be to steal a registration number and put it on a drone? If the registration number is on the bottom of the drone in many cases someone is going to have to handle the drone to get to the registration number.


The comment period is still open, but on the other side you have "Members of the law enforcement and security communities have expressed concern..."
 

pmh1nic

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The comment period is still open, but on the other side you have "Members of the law enforcement and security communities have expressed concern..."

It's tough to make an argument against making the change when the LE safety argument is made. This isn't a knock against LE but rather a knock against the rational being used as a safety issue. On the other hand having the marking on the outside does open things up for registration numbers to be stolen and used for nefarious purposes.

That said I did submit a comment.
 
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This new rule says the number has to be legible, but I do not see a definition of "legible" or what size the number needs to be.
 

pmh1nic

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This new rule says the number has to be legible, but I do not see a definition of "legible" or what size the number needs to be.

This touches on one of the comments I made. Given the small size of these drones and it is very likely the drone would have to be handled to access the number. If the very act of handling the drone is a concern in a lot of situations handling is going to be required whether the number is internal or external to the drone.
 

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