By Ben Nuelle, Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

Ag aviators are concerned about a recent change in registration for hobby drone users.

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled last week the Federal Aviation Administration must stop drone registration.

Andrew Moore is Executive Director of the National Agricultural Aviation Association or (NAAA). He says a lot of other organizations are concerned about this court ruling too.

“The Association for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles International is concerned, Helicopter Association International, even airline pilots are concerned because the registration system does associate accountability for your actions.”

Agricultural aircraft used to treat crops, fight fires, combat pests, and other deadly diseases, consistently operate at the same low altitudes as drones. Aviators are deeply concerned about their ability to fly safely in air space where pilots could encounter any unmanned aircraft, be it commercial or otherwise.

“You can have a two-pound turkey vulture or a mallard duck go through the window of an Ag aircraft. Now, small UAVs are determined small if it is 50 pounds. That with some hard plastic and a battery could definitely wreak havoc on an Ag aircraft.”

Recreational drone users have had to register with the FAA since 2015. More than 820,000 people did.

The court’s ruling does not impact registration for commercial drone users.