In what must be some sort of minor miracle from the ghosts of government competence, the Federal Aviation Administration has launched a functioning version of its drone registration website on time. The FAA has missed most every drone deadline it has set for itself, and the program is expected to be large, with more than a million drone owners to register over the course of the next month or so; it was reasonable to guess that the agency wouldn’t manage to put together a fully functioning database and registration form in the matter of a couple months.

After filling out some personal information and agreeing to the agency’s disclaimers, I had to click a box saying I agree to not fly over people, stadiums, or while drunk. It took less than five seconds to read over those “safety guidelines,” but that’s really the crux of the FAA’s program: Make people agree to these guidelines (which are not technically laws) so that they do not have plausible deniability should they decide to do something stupid with a drone.

Congrats to all involved. I for one didn’t think they would pull it off.


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