You could see this one coming.
Everyone is going to have to register their drones, unmanned aerial systems, unmanned aerial vehicles -- whatever you want to call them. The FAA announced plans on Monday to demand that even hobbyists must register their mechanical birds.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced it on Monday, somewhat acknowledging that the agency has had problems keeping up with the volume of UASs buzzing through the skies.
According to the FAA, commercial aircraft are now encountering drones at the rate of roughly 100 times a month, an issue that was considered rare only a year or two ago.
Effectively, every drone may need to be registered with the FAA by next spring. Such information could be used to track the operator if a drone is involved in an accident or if the drone is brought down in an area where such vehicles are restricted.
The FAA and airlines may be spooked by the sheer volume of drone-loving people zooming their neighborhoods, national parks or local farms. MSNBC had a UAS consultant in interview on Monday say the UAS industry expects to sell 700,000 to 1 million voyeuristic little aircraft over the holidays.
Farmers have embraced drones and they are increasingly marketed for checking out crop or field conditions. The cost also has fallen for drones and accompanying technology. I was at a popular store in Omaha a few weeks ago and the salesman let me know he could set me up with a drone and a GoPro camera for under $1,000. It looked pretty cool.
Nearly industry is getting into them. I watched a small demonstration at a hotel ballroom a few weeks ago during the Society of Environmental Journalists annual meeting in Norman, Okla.
The Washington Post had more details from federal officials on the rules.
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