The FAA looks to begin registering owners of drones before the holiday season kicks in. It is estimated that over 700,000 drones will be sold this year.
The Federal Aviation Administration will ready itself to evaluate recommendations made by a 25-person “task force” put together to consider drones and their possible registration. If the FAA decides to register drones, which it looks likely that it will do, the agency wants to try and avoid having to deal with the registering of toys.
The 25-member panel of experts from the aviation industry has recommended to the FAA that drones be registered, according to US News and World Report. However, the panel has suggested that drones weighing as little as a half a pound be included. This could include some toys.
The panel came to the half-pound threshold limit as they tried to imagine the damage done by a drone if one crashed into and airplane or helicopter. It also wanted to assess what damage a drone would do if one fell from the sky and hit a person. The board is expected to send its recommendation to the FAA for a final decision on Saturday.
The FAA hopes to have some form of drone registration plan in place by Dec. 21. They expect that thousands will be bought during the holiday season. The registration would only be required for owners and operators rather than the machines themselves. The owner would be issued a particular serial number and then would attach that number to all of the drones in their possession. Registration can be done at a website that will be established for the task.
In recent projections, the Consumer Technology Association reported that over 700,000 drones will be sold before the year is out, with around 400,000 being sold in the fourth quarter alone. The FAA hopes that drone owner registration will make people more accountable and that there will be someone who authorities can be in contact with in case there is an incident.
The FAA gets about 100 reports of drone sighting a months near airplanes, but helicopters are the particular worry. They tend to fly under 500 feet and can compete for air space with the drones. That is to say nothing of angry citizens who have shot drones from the sky when they have passed over their private property.