With a constant string of near misses in airports across the nation and conflicts between neighbors over allegations of spying, federal regulators have been reviewing possible rules for privately owned, recreational unmanned aerial vehicles, often called drones. Now regulators have announced plans to force owners to register their devices with the federal government.
This is the first time such a strict rule has been made for remote-controlled UAVs and marks a new direction in federal policy by the Obama administration.
Federal regulators said that the registration system, which has yet to be created, may be up and running in the next two months. The new rules are meant to put a limit on the increasing interference in the nation’s airspace by assembling a database of drone owners in order to track them down if a violation occurs.
“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 said during a Monday press conference.
Officials say that there are as many as 100 near misses between planes and UAVs every month, and that number is growing.
Pilots of large aircrafts worry about these drones because they can be easily sucked into an engine or smash through a cockpit window.
Near misses between drones and planes are growing. Last year, a jet almost collided with a drone in Florida. And it isn’t just the U.S. experiencing the problem; investigators at London’s Heathrow also reported a near collision last year.
In November of 2014, the FAA reported that near misses with drones and airplanes have surged as the small machines grow in popularity.
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