FAA drone registrations hit 181,000

Figure is big jump in a few weeks, but short of industry hype

More than 181,000 drones have been registered in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s new drone registration database.

"We’re very encouraged by the numbers," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, as he announced the precise total, as of that morning, of 181,061.

The number represents a big jump on the initial 45,000 registrations when the system went live on December 21, but falls well short of preholiday industry estimates of several hundred thousand drone sales during the year-end period. That either means the number of new drone sales was much lower than hoped, or a significant number of people have not yet conducted the mandatory registration.

Huerta said he was satisfied with the number of registrations so far. He said the FAA saw spikes on Christmas Day, the day after and one around new year, and expects  another jump toward the end of the three-month grace period for pilots who had drones before the database began.

0106 huerta faa Martyn Williams

Michael Huerta, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, speaks at CES in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2016.

The database requires drone users to enter their name and address in return for a registration number, which needs to be marked on their drone. The registration number will allow crashed drones to be tracked back to their owner, but the system is less intended to provide tracking of drones and users and more focused on encouraging drone pilots to fly responsibly.

"Registration is all about safety," said Huerta. "It provides a key opportunity to educate a new generation of airspace users that as soon as they begin flying outside, they become pilots."

When registering, users are asked to confirm they understand the basic rules of consumer drone flight, such as the need to stay below 400 feet, fly during daylight, keep the drone within visual range and to not fly near airports.

The registration system was supported by the consumer drone industry, in part because it was eager to avoid a rush to regulation, which could curb sales.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags playCES 2016

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?