Federal regulators to require registration of recreational drones

White House drone pic US Sec Ser

Recreational drone which landed on the White House lawn in January of 2015

Glad someone has been contemplating what damage or disaster would result from a collision between a recreational drone and an airplane. In the recent fires in California, there was an hour or so when the planes dropping fire-retardant chemicals couldn’t take off because of recreational drones.

 

From the Washington Post

1:32 PM October 19th 2015

 

By Craig Whitlock

“Federal regulators said Monday that they plan to require recreational drone users to register their aircraft with the government for the first time in an attempt to restore order to U.S. skies, which have been invaded by rogue flying robots.

U.S. officials said they still need to sort out the basic details of the registration system but concluded that they had to take swift action to cope with a surge in sales of inexpensive, simple-to-fly drones that are increasingly interfering with regular air traffic.

“The signal we’re sending today is that when you’re in the national airspace, it’s a very serious matter,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters.

Pilots of passenger planes and other aircraft are reporting more than 100 sightings or close calls with rogue drones a month — a significant increase just in the past year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

[FAA records detail hundreds of close calls between airplanes and drones] Link

 

Under FAA guidelines, drone owners are not supposed fly their aircraft above 400 feet or within five miles of an airport without permission. But the rules are widely flouted, and officials have been largely powerless to hunt down rogue drone operators.

Requiring drones to be registered will be of limited use for investigators unless the remote-controlled aircraft crash and a registration number can be found. Most drones are too small to appear on radar and do not carry transponders to broadcast their locations.

But regulators hope that forcing owners — many of whom are aviation novices — to register their drones with the government will at least make them think twice about their responsibility to fly safely and the possibility that they could be held accountable for an accident.”

The remainder of the article along with additional stories and additional links is here:

Feds to Regulate Recreational Drones WashPost

 

drone-darpa

US Air Force drone firing missile

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/