No longer do the skies only belong to the usual flying vehicles like airplanes and helicopters. The average citizen can now take off the ground thanks to the proliferation of affordable drones, of which many can be controlled with basic smartphones. But the spread of these new toys didn’t come without its negative effects. The situation has gotten serious enough that the USA government now feels the need to have all commercial drones registered with the Department of Transportation.
At least that is what a new report from NBC News claims. The company’s sources have it in good faith that the federal government is soon to announce a new plan requiring registration of any new drone purchased in the USA. The new law is rumored to be announced come Monday, while it won’t go into effect until Christmas time.
Why go through all this? Is it about privacy? Surely, we don’t want weirdos stalking our families, but that is not really the main reason why the government is going through this hassle. It seems this is mostly about safety. Airspace safety, to be more specific.
One too many close calls between airplanes and drones have occurred, something the federal government is getting worried about. NBC News mentions a specific event in which a drone and a commercial passenger airplane with 159 people on board flew about 100 feet away from each other. Safe distance is said to be at about 1000 feet, at the closest.
You don’t need to fly that high up to find trouble, though. It has also been reported that firefighters in California have encountered issues with drones trying to capture aerial shots of wild fires. These are an issue for emergency response helicopters and airplanes.
Overall, the government seems to be looking to enforce rules on irresponsible use of drones. Right now it’s very hard to stop drone owners from doing whatever they please. And even if they manage to retrieve a drone, it’s very hard to find out who the owner/operator is! Considering these can also be used for illegal activities (such as crossing drugs over borders), I wouldn’t say it’s a bad idea.
None of us like going to the DMV to register our usual vehicles, though, so this will surely become an annoyance to some. It’s another thing to worry about! But the process will likely be simpler… right?
What do you guys think of this? Is it better for the government to keep tabs of all drones? Are you against this idea? Hit the comments and share your own thoughts on this!