As Mashable reports, similar to how a new car owner has to register their vehicle, the US Department of Transportation (DoT) is to enforce a law that states all drone owners must register their machines with the US government (1).
While the DoT has yet to release an official statement about the new law, NBC News claims they were informed about the new plans (2).
According to NBC News, the new registration scheme would come into effect before the Christmas period in order to help protect America’s skies following the rush of new drone owners Christmas typically brings.
From speculation that an alleged UFO sighting in the UK was actually a secret military drone (3), to so-called drone wars taking place in Philadelphia, it’s no secret that recent years have seen a prolific rise in the amount of unmanned drones taking to the skies around the world (4).
Danger to Airports
It is also no secret that the US government is concerned about the potential danger of unmanned drones flying close to many US airports.
There have been incidents of close encounters between unmanned aircraft and commercial aircraft. For example, in July this year a drone came worrying close to a passenger plane flying into John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
The drone was just 100 feet from the passenger plane with the safe separation distance being at least 1,000 feet.
In the same month, unmanned flying objects were also blamed for thwarting firefighters as they fought to put out a fire in the Cajon Pass in California.
In fact, so severe is the problem of drones now perceived that there are even lawyers in operation that specialize in injuries caused by drones.
For example, Drone Injuries Lawyer assists victims of drone injuries in how to handle their potential drone injury claim (5).
As well as the potential harm unmanned drones can cause, drones also raise a number of privacy concerns.
Registration of New Drones
In order to combat the growing dangers of drones under the new legislation, the government would work alongside the drone industry to ensure that all new drone purchases were registered.
However, concerns have been made as to how the government would ensure the millions of existing drones became registered. As Jorg Lamprecht, founder of Dedrone, a firm in Germany focused on the detection of both professional and civilian drones, told Mashable:
“DoT’s creation of a national drone registry demonstrates how dangerous drones may be to aircrafts, and to security and privacy.
“The challenge lies in the fact that, unless the registry is also made retroactive, millions of unregistered drones will still be available for sale on the internet and black markets,” continued Lamprecht (1).
What are your thoughts about the enforced registration of personal drones? An example of over-regulation by the US government or a necessary precaution to help prevent dangerous accidents from occurring in our skies and help combat the privacy concerns related to drones?
References & Image Credits:
(2) NBC News
(3) TSW: Was the Staffordshire UFO Sighting Actually a Secret Military Drone
(4) TSW: America’s First Drone War Taking Place in a Philadelphia Courtroom
(5) Drone Injuries Lawyer