Amid concerns over drones’ impact on air traffic, the United States Government is reportedly contemplating plans to require anyone who buys a drone to register it. NBC News said that an announcement on the matter is scheduled for Monday, and the expectation is that a drone registration policy will be in place by Christmas.
As you might expect, people are balking at the idea, but the increased oversight could be a result of recent close calls involving drones and airplanes. By requiring registration, officials may be able to better track down those who pose a danger, whether deliberately or through carelessness.
In August, pilots of at least two airplanes flying near the John F. Kennedy airport in New York reported spotting drones—in one case, close enough to almost cause a collision. This, even though drones are prohibited from flying within five miles of New York City airports.
The rumored registration laws are a sign that the government is taking the issue of drone guidance seriously. For a while now, people have been waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take action on the matter of privately owned drones, but with limited results. In fact, following a rule change earlier this year, data has shown a sharp spike in the number of commercial drones currently in flight with an FAA exemption (most are for photo/film/video use, but other industries using drones include real estate and delivery).
It seems that only newly purchased drones would be subject to a ruling, but we’ll find out more on Monday.