Critics threaten lawsuit over drone registration rules

The Hill discusses the FAA drone regulations with Marc Scribner.

The Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute said Monday the FAA violated federal requirements for allowing public comments on the drone registration proposal, which usually lasts for a period of 30 to 60 days.

"The FAA's claim that complying with notice and comment requirements for small drone registration regulation is 'impracticable and contrary to the public interest,' so that it can therefore ignore them, is as predictable as it is absurd," CEI transportation policy expert Marc Scribner said in a statement. "In issuing this unlawful interim final rule, [Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx] and [FAA Administrator Michael Huerta] are practically demanding litigation."

"While we appreciate the fact that the task force apparently recognized that the Department of Transportation does not have the authority to require point-of-sale registration, we are still disturbed by the way in which the Department is aiming to implement the rule," he said in a statement last month as the FAA was finalizing the drone registration requirements.

"However, as we noted in our November 6 comments in response to the task force’s formation, mere registration will not mitigate aviation safety risks potentially posed by drones," he continued. "Yet, for the FAA to dispense with notice-and-comment requirements, it will need to show proceeding through the normal rulemaking procedure will endanger public safety. This makes the forthcoming FAA interim final rule unlawful and will almost certainly result in litigation."

Scribner added "further, in requiring that all drones over 250 grams—which includes many harmless toys—the FAA will also be violating Congress’s 2012 prohibition on the regulation of hobbyist small drone use."

"Congress prohibited the FAA from regulating model aircraft in 2012’s FAA reauthorization," he said.

Read the full article at The Hill.