The Transportation Dept. task force on Nov. 21 said all unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing between about 0.55 lb and 55 lb should be registered with the FAA. That range covers maximum takeoff weight, including the drone, payload and associated weight.
The aviation agency set the upper limit last February in outlining rules for small drones flying in civil airspace. Task force members wrestled with a lower limit Nov. 3 to 5 in what one task force leader called “long and very painful debates.”
The task force reached general agreement on the lower weight, but some task force members “believed it was too conservative” and might “negatively impact the credibility” of a registration program and “lessen compliance levels” by requiring registration of some drones “generally considered to be in the ‘toy’ category,” the report said.
It added that some members questioned why small drones “would ever be required to exceed the current general aviation risk level.”