EDISON - Changes will soon be coming for people who fly remote-controlled drones as a hobby.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday that drone operators will soon have to register their devices with a federal database. The department says the regulations are about safety, accountability and responsibility.
“Some [drones] have come too close to airplanes and airports,” says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Even at the U.S. Open in September, an aircraft crashed inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 138 pilots reported seeing drones at 10,000 feet in June. This has prompted the government to link up with tech company CACI to detect drones around airports and force them to land, if necessary.
The FAA and drone hobbyists have formed a task force to determine the ground rules for who should have to register. Toy drones, which typically only weigh one or two pounds, will most likely be exempt from registration.
FAA Chief Michael Huerta says that registration will increase the pressure on drone operators to fly within guidelines and will impose consequences on their actions.