Your Registered Eye in the Sky will be Observable to the PublicBy Mark J. Donovan
The FAA has confirmed that information logged in its new UAV / Drone registry program will be open to the public. Meaning, the information gathered from everyone who registers a drone will be available to the public. The only information that will be withheld will be email addresses and credit card information. In regards to who needs to register their drone, any drone that weighs between 0.55 lbs and 55 lbs will need to be registered in this program.
It is important to note that this registry program is no different than what is already currently done for traditional aircraft owners. Visit this website and type in any tail number of an aircraft. You’ll quickly see the aircraft owners name, address and specifications about the aircraft.
Although some may have privacy concerns about this new UAV registry program, it should help to put any drone owner/operator on notice about using their drone in a malicious or reckless way. For example, any person that sees a drone being operated in some questionable manner will have the ability to look up in this database for any registered drones in their area and be able to contact their local police department and/or FAA to report the problem and prospective perpetrator.
Again, this same type of registry and private citizen capability already exists today for standard aircraft. For example, if a pilot flies a small plane over a congested area under 1,000 feet above the ground, he or she can expect to hear from the FAA in short order if someone on the ground records the aircraft tail number.
So, although the forced registry of your drone and having some of your personal information made available to the public may sound like you’re registering as a sex offender, it shouldn’t be personally taken that way, unless you indeed have those intentions. It is simply putting you on par with every other owner of traditional aircraft for the public’s safety, and in the case of drones, public privacy.