WASHINGTON - Most of the drones that people got for Christmas need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, but not everyone is happy about it.
John Taylor is taking on the FAA. In a lawsuit filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Taylor hopes the court will overturn the registration requirement.
Taylor’s argument focuses on a federal law that prohibits the FAA from enacting any regulation regarding a model aircraft that is being operated safely.
“This is a blatant violation of that statute,” said Taylor. “Under the statute, if people are flying safely in the parameters that they’ve described, Congress has told the FAA, leave them alone. Let them fly their model airplanes.”
Taylor was inspired to file the lawsuit because of the Christmas holiday.
“The thing that drove me to go ahead and file suit was that, as the FAA was pointing out, Christmas was coming up. Hundreds of thousands of people were going to receive drones as presents and they were going to have to register them before they could fly them. And I wanted to see if I could do something to stop that from happening,” he said.
Taylor filed for an emergency stay of the registration requirement, but that request was denied. So while this lawsuit occurs, you are still required to register your drone. If he wins, Taylor believes the FAA will be forced to destroy the database.
Taylor is taking this on without compensation, and while he is a lawyer, he does not practice aviation law. He says he hopes larger groups or organizations will take on this fight in the near future.
In response to Taylor’s lawsuit, the FAA said, “Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft. We won't comment on the merits of threatened or pending litigation."