Thursday, July 13, 2017

FAA ICR Revision for Closing Small Drone Registration

Today the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced the emergency approval of a change to the information collection request (ICR) supporting the FAA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Registration System program. The change was requested in order for the FAA to comply with a recent court finding that the registration program was not legal.

According to the supporting document [.DOCX download link] submitted to OIRA:

“With respect to this update to the information collection, as a result of the May 19, 2017 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Small UAS Registration and Marking interim final rule was vacated to the extent it applies to model aircraft. Model aircraft must meet the definition and operational requirements provided in section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Owners who are operating exclusively in compliance with section 336 who wish to de-register and receive a refund of the registration fee may do so by requesting de-registration from the FAA, which requires the FAA to collect their payment information.”

A new form [.DOCX download link] was included in the ICR revision submission. This form will be used by ‘model aircraft’ owners to de-register. It includes seven certification check-offs used to ensure that the registrant is flying a UAV in accordance with the ‘model aircraft’ provisions of §336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (PL 112-95, 126 Stat 77-78). Commercial small aircraft registrants may not use this process to de-register as they were no covered in the court ruling.

I expect that we will see something in the Federal Register in the coming days addressing this de-registration process.

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