The federal government will require many drone aircraft to be registered, a move prompted by the growing number of reported close calls and incidents that pose safety risks, officials announced Monday.
Pilot sightings of drones have doubled since last year, including sightings near manned aircraft and major sporting events, and interference with wildfire-fighting operations, the government said at a news conference to announce the step.
To work out details, the FAA and the Transportation Department are setting up a 25- to 30-member task force including government and industry officials and hobbyists. They’ll recommend which drones should be required to register and which should be exempted, and design a system that would be easy for commercial operators to comply with, the department said.
The video above is of the press conference this morning where Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and others made this announcement.
As Jason Koebler at motherboard.vice.com writes:
The DOT's announcement raises all sorts of questions, few of which the agency was able to answer. It's clear that the agency, which oversees the Federal Aviation Administration, wants to crack down on the unsafe use of drones, and it's looking like it's going to try to bypass as much of the traditional rulemaking process as is possible.
Jason's article raises many very difficult questions that have not been thought out yet. Seems like this is a move to force the FAA to start making progress. Expect to start registering your drones by Christmas or soon after.
Update 10/21: Registration Is Not The Answer To Responsible UAS Flying:
There is no doubt that something must be done to curb the irresponsibility operation of UAS, but the simple affixing of small numbers on the side of distant, fast moving drones is, at best, a Band Aid® response. More is needed, even if it takes it. Activity is a waste; action is a must.