Insurance Journal: Safety Agency Warns of Tail Strikes, Off-Course Flying by Near-Empty Airplanes. “While the plunge in travel has in many ways eased pressure on roads and the aviation system, it has at times had the opposite effect on safety. The rate of highway deaths has actually risen as motorists speed on empty roads. And the drop in airline passengers has triggered an unusual spate of incidents that are challenging flight safety, according to publicly available reports as well as government, industry and union officials. Moreover, the slow rise in air traffic is creating its own demands as parked aircraft are restored to service and pilots who may have missed training sessions are recalled.”
AOPA: FAA Contacting Private Airport Owners To Update Data. “Almost 3,000 privately owned airports could be listed as ‘closed’ in the FAA’s online database and be removed from aeronautical charts if owners don’t verify their airport records by June 30.”
Yahoo News: Google’s Wing Aviation gets FAA OK for drone deliveries. “Google affiliate Wing Aviation has received federal approval allowing it to make commercial deliveries by drone. It’s the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries.”
Digital Trends: FAA Offers To Refund Drone Registration Fees And Wipe Details. “Up to a million drone owners have so far done as they were told, hitting the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website to register their information. But then in May a U.S. appeals court affirmed an earlier lower court ruling that said the policy was in violation of a preexisting law banning regulation of model aircraft. So for the last few months, buyers of new drones have been able to fly them without first registering their details. But the story doesn’t end there.”
CNET: The FAA’s drone database encounters turbulence. “Drone owners won a major victory in court Friday, when the United States Court of Appeals said the registration system may not be legal.”
Google will start testing drone delivery in the US. “As part of an effort to promote and research unmanned aircraft systems across the US, the White House on Tuesday announced that Project Wing, the brainchild of Alphabet’s experimental Google X division, will take flight at a Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aircraft system test site.”
The FAA has released a database of registered drone owners. “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today posted a large database showing the city, state and zip code of each registered drone owner. Release of the database responds to a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted since the new unmanned aircraft registration system began operating on December 21, 2015.” That data has already been mapped.
And in our “Really? Are you kidding me?” department, name and address information in the US-mandated drone registry may eventually be made public. “The FAA says only their agency and a contractor will have access to the personal information collected. The DOT says that all information regarding registered aircraft must be made publicly available.” This thing was thrown together in about ten minutes so it’s not surprising there’s contradicting information. If you have any interest in privacy I recommend you watch this story.
Drones in the US will now require registration. “According to the Federal Aviation Administration, starting February 19, all drones weighing between 0.55 to 50 pounds must be registered with their owners’ names and addresses in a national database. Violators can face civil penalties of up to $27,500 and three years in jail.”
More Google: Google has registered a pair of drones with the FAA. “Google has registered a pair of drones with the FAA, each one codenamed B3 and M2. Google has been working on various aerial projects for a while, most notably Project Wing, and earlier this year it set out on a new UAV design. The newly discovered drones in the FAA registry may be of the new UAV designs, though that isn’t clear. The registration only provides basic details, such as engine type.”