US govt drafts Google, Walmart, Amazon, BestBuy execs for drone registration system

Task force to draw up database for owners of flying gizmos

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has named the 25 people who will draft the blueprints for a nationwide database of drone owners.

As promised by the FAA and US Department of Transportation (DOT), the task force consists of individuals from companies and organizations that make and sell drones, as well as pilots, crimefighters, and hobbyist organizations.

The task force will help the FAA and DOT decide how to go about setting the new rules and procedures for registering private drones in the US. The registration will allow cops and Feds to track drones back to their owners when FAA rules are broken.

The FAA said the task force will have until November 20 to decide what recommendations it should make on how to roll out drone registration. The group will gather to meet from November 3-5 to hash out the recommendations.

Chairing the board will be Earl Lawrence of the FAA and Dave Vos of Google X. Vos leads Google's Project Wing drone delivery experiment.

Other members of the group include Chuck Hogeman and Randy Kenagy of the Air Line Pilots Association; Sean Cassidy of Amazon Prime Air; Richard Hanson of the Academy of Model Aeronautics; and Mike Fergus from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The task force will also include representatives from WalMart, Best Buy, and Amazon Retail as well as drone manufacturer Parrot and camera biz GoPro.

The group will offer their input to the FAA and Department of Justice as the two organizations try to write and implement new rules for registering and tracing drones. With consumer drones increasingly being spotted over restricted areas and reported flying too close to larger private and commercial airplanes, authorities are seeking a method to track down irresponsible owners who engage in reckless flying.

The FAA said that such regulations have only become necessary recently, as a hobbyist market that was traditionally highly responsible and knowledgeable of the law has been diluted by consumers taking advantage of cheaper and easier-to-fly drone 'copters.

It is not yet known how rules covering manufacturers and retailers would be enforced for homemade drones and model aircraft, or how the registration would be transferred to a new owner when a drone is sold or given away. ®

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