FAA drone registrations hit 181,000

Figure is big jump in a few weeks, but short of industry hype

More than 181,000 drones have been registered in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s new drone registration database.

"We’re very encouraged by the numbers," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, as he announced the precise total, as of that morning, of 181,061.

The number represents a big jump on the initial 45,000 registrations when the system went live on December 21, but falls well short of preholiday industry estimates of several hundred thousand drone sales during the year-end period. That either means the number of new drone sales was much lower than hoped, or a significant number of people have not yet conducted the mandatory registration.

Huerta said he was satisfied with the number of registrations so far. He said the FAA saw spikes on Christmas Day, the day after and one around new year, and expects  another jump toward the end of the three-month grace period for pilots who had drones before the database began.

0106 huerta faa Martyn Williams

Michael Huerta, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, speaks at CES in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2016.

The database requires drone users to enter their name and address in return for a registration number, which needs to be marked on their drone. The registration number will allow crashed drones to be tracked back to their owner, but the system is less intended to provide tracking of drones and users and more focused on encouraging drone pilots to fly responsibly.

"Registration is all about safety," said Huerta. "It provides a key opportunity to educate a new generation of airspace users that as soon as they begin flying outside, they become pilots."

When registering, users are asked to confirm they understand the basic rules of consumer drone flight, such as the need to stay below 400 feet, fly during daylight, keep the drone within visual range and to not fly near airports.

The registration system was supported by the consumer drone industry, in part because it was eager to avoid a rush to regulation, which could curb sales.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags playCES 2016

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?