The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has posted a rule in the Federal Register requiring a new drone registration.
It sets out to make small drone owners display the FAA-issued registration number on the outside of the aircraft.
This means operators may no longer place or write the numbers in an interior compartment.
Taking effect on February 25, the markings must be in place for any flight after that date.
When the FAA first demanded registration of small drones in 2015, the agency instructed that the registration marking must be easily accessed.
The rule granted some flexibility by permitting the marking to be placed in an enclosed compartment, such as a battery case, if it could be accessed without the use of tools.
Subsequently, law enforcement officials and the FAA’s interagency security partners have expressed concerns about the risk a concealed explosive device might pose to first responders upon opening a compartment to find a drone’s registration number, forcing the regulator to take action.
The FAA says it believes this action will enhance safety and security by allowing a person to view the unique identifier directly without handling the drone.
Issued as an Interim Final Rule, the public has been invited to make comment on the decision which the FAA will review to determine if the provisions of the Final Rule should be changed.
The 30-day comment period will end on March 15, 2019.
Additionally, as announced by transportation secretary Elaine Chao last month, the FAA also posted proposed new rules to let drones fly routinely at night and over people, and to further integrate them safely into the nation’s airspace.
The comment period for these proposals begins today and will end April 15.