Last updated: 06:53 PM ET, Thu October 22 2015

Report: DOT to Announce Drone Registration Requirements

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | October 17, 2015

Report: DOT to Announce Drone Registration Requirements

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A multi-agency government crackdown on drones appears to be in progress.

CNN reported that the Department of Transportation will announced the formation of a drone task force Monday, and a major element of the group's agenda will apparently be the establishment of an owner registration program.

The fact that registered drones can be traced back to the individuals who bought them might make them more responsible operators, an unnamed official with knowledge of Monday's announcement said to CNN. If they are irresponsible, they can be found more easily, the official added.

Pilots report about 100 drone sightings to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) per month, CNN said, and TravelPulse has covered many close calls. One incident in late May had a Shuttle America flight arriving at La Guardia ascending 200 feet to avoid colliding with a drone.

Countering such airspace intrusions, the FAA revealed last week that it is testing anti-drone technology, CNN said. In partnership with the Arlington, Virginia-based information tech company CACI International, systems are being developed that can detect a drone flying within five miles of an airport, force the craft to land, then pinpoint the operator.

Earlier this month, the FAA proposed a record fine for unauthorized drone use, as reported by TravelPulse’s Patrick Clarke. Chicago-based SkyPan International Inc., allegedly made at least 65 unauthorized drone flights in crowded airspace over New York and Chicago, earning the company a $1.9 million proposed fine, according to the Associated Press. This penalty greatly eclipses the record of $18,700, proposed for a New York video production company in September.

In light of SkyPan’s transgressions, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta described the operation of unauthorized drones as "illegal and dangerous," the AP said.

"We have the safest airspace in the world, and everyone who uses it must understand and observe our comprehensive set of rules and regulations," Huerta added.


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