Mandatory Registration for Drones Coming in the US

This may seem off topic, but I think that if you take the long view of what LENR could make possible, this is a relevant topic for this site. The US Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Department announced on Monday that they will be setting up a task force to create rules under which all drones (UAVs) will need to registered with the federal government. The reason cited is that the increased use of drones is causing safety risks in the skies, and drone registration is an attempt to restrain unsafe drone flying.

Here’s an excerpt from a Washington Post article on the topic:

The FAA and the Transportation Department are setting up a task force composed of government officials and industry representatives to devise the registration system. [Transportation Secretary Anthony] Foxx said the group has until Nov. 20 to finalize its recommendations so the government can set up the registry before Christmas — the peak season for drone sales.

Such a timetable amounts to lightning speed for the FAA, which usually labors for years to shape new aviation regulations.

Foxx said the registration rules will also apply to people who have bought drones in recent years, not just new owners. He said the FAA will impose penalties — which he did not spell out — on anyone who does not comply.

Nobody knows exactly how many of the robotic aircraft are already flying around, but most estimates top 1 million.

The reason I bring this up here is that it represents an example of government action to regulate a new technology that has the potential to be disruptive in many ways. A drone flying into commercial airspace has the potential cause accidents, either accidentally or deliberately, and if one thinks in terms of national security and law enforcement, drones provide a new means of attacks by criminals and terrorists.

This all makes me wonder about how governments might react when it comes to revolutionary energy source, like LENR, coming into the mainstream. Distributed energy production has the potential to provide people with a new level of freedom and independence, and that would be true especially if LENR devices are mobile. And as much as we like to think that LENR would be used for productive and positive purposes, it is a safe bet that it will be considered to be useful for destructive ends too.

Would it be an overreaction to think that there’s a chance that governments might want to know who owns LENR devices and what the might do with them, and that new regulations, fees, taxes, restrictions might be applied to LENR?

  • When cheap LENR motors are used to power drones, we will have to worry about drone attacks coming from every nation on Earth. A drone that can stay aloft for six months at a time can come from anywhere and can easily be made invisible to radar using current technology.

    • Then if we can downscale LENR energy sources significantly you could imagine micro drones capable of flying long distances. Put them together in large swarms and you have another powerful destructive technology to deal with.

      • Omega Z

        They are only a threat in small numbers & use.
        As in you don’t know their coming & are caught by surprise.
        Technologically, The U.S. can easily take them down. Other countries will soon have the same capability.

        Rules & Regulations being written will give the Government carte blanche over shooting them down leaving you with no legal recourse for compensation. They’re putting the onus on you.

        For Governments & Military’s, they will be but a nuisance. It is the individual who needs to be concerned.

  • Warthog

    I think the end result will be size and altitude constraints. After all, the same approach is taken today with radioactive sources. Low-intensity devices below a certain radioactivity limit can be owned by anyone (General Use License is the term, I think). Higher activity devices require more specialized licensing and safequards.

  • bfast

    “This all makes me wonder about how governments might react when it comes to revolutionary energy source, like LENR, coming into the mainstream.”

    It does bring up an interesting topic. The US is particularly renowned for being driven by special interest groups. There will be many, such as the oil industry, who won’t like LENR, and would seek to crush it. If they are able to use government legislation to slow down the unfolding of LENR in the US, this will be catastrophic — not for LENR, but for the US. LENR will flourish. However, if the US puts itself behind the rest of the world on this revolutionary technology, it may never be able to catch up.

    • Omega Z

      When you consider how long it takes to develop a new technology And how long it takes to transition, Big Oil has nothing to be concerned about.
      It is We who should be concerned that an Oil replacement isn’t found before it runs out.

      Here’s an interesting phenomena to ponder.
      There is a push for distributed energy by the U.S. Government AND the Power Industry.
      What is it that has TPTB terrified of centralized energy?

      Usually, when someone tries to shirk their responsibility it’s because they know something is coming that they don’t want the responsibility or blame for.

  • SG

    Registration by governments might buy governments some time but is not a lasting solution. The hearts of the people, and collectively the nations, must change. In a twist of irony, the exponential pace of technological development on a dizzying array of fronts will force an enlightenment of sorts that the world must live by the golden rule if the world is to survive and thrive like it never has before.

  • TomR

    With the kind of thinking Foxx uses I expect to see 3D printer sales go through the roof. Registration and unenforceable laws remind me of gun control and the war against drugs. I can see altitude limits and no fly zones for drones but the rest is day dreaming and filling the prisons with more people with none of their expected results happening.

  • Omega Z

    I wonder where they will draw the line between reasonable & ridiculous.
    DUH, What am I saying. It’s the Government.

    Actually, I understand their safety concerns, but their biggest concern will not be addressed by Registration & Regulations. People of ill intent. As TomR points out. With 3D printers, These people will still have access & they don’t care about legalities. Only agenda’s.

    Most drones would have little impact on an aircraft itself, but a drone carrying a 2 pound steel bar or small explosive with live-feed cameras can be precision guided. Right through a turbine engine at that most critical point. During take off & landing.

    It’s a brave new world out there and not a very bright one for the Airline Industry.

  • psi2u2

    Interesting compare and contrast, Frank. There’s another factor in the case of the drones, which is our innate reaction to having our “personal airspace” occupied by flying things.
    It seems to me that regulation is just going to happen, and should happen, in terms of drones. As for LENR, its hard to see a real reason to want to control, or regulate more than an oil furnace. But I can certainly see that there are some who will feel threatened by the potential for others to be “offgrid” completely.