FAA Releases Drone Registration Location Data
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.
The FAA is not posting the names and street addresses of registered owners because the data is exempt from disclosure under a FOIA exemption that protects information in agency files from a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
The FAA based its determination to post only city, state and zip code on several factors, including, in part, that many of the registrants are minors and only hobbyists or recreational users. In addition, when the FAA published its Federal Register notice pertaining to the new unmanned aircraft registration system it specifically advised the public that name and addresses would only be available by the registration number issued to the registrant. For these reasons, the FAA believes the privacy interest in such data outweighs any public interest.
Anyone who owns a drone weighing more than 0.55 lbs. but less than 55 lbs. must register before flying the aircraft outdoors for hobby or recreation. All owners of small unmanned aircraft used for other purposes must also register as one of the requirements associated with a Section 333 exemption.
You can view and search the registration data at: https://www.faa.gov/foia/electronic_reading_room/media/Reg-by-City-State-Zip-12May2016.xlsx