Plan to register unmanned aircraft gaining traction

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta said Monday that the Department of Transportation has accepted a new approach to improving the responsibility and accountability of people involved with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). 

To make people more accountable and responsible for their UAS activities, they will need to register their UAS, often called drones. Registration has gained support and attention from manufacturers of technology for UAS, UAS associations and for-profit operators of UAS.

UAS have many benefits for the nation.

“We fully appreciate the potential of UAS to transform transportation, commerce and quality of life,” Foxx said. “In fact, unmanned aircraft are already performing important tasks like inspecting infrastructure and crops and monitoring wildlife. They are also being used by companies to help support lines of business.”

But there are also inherent dangers in UAS. This is why officials want a registration process for UAS technologies and products.

“We've also seen unmanned aircraft interfering with public safety, most recently in California by disrupting critical wildfire operations,” Foxx said. “Some have come too close to airplanes and airports; the FAA receives reports every day of potentially unsafe UAS operations, and pilot sightings of UAS flying near manned aircraft have increased significantly since 2014. And, at this year's U.S. Open tennis tournament in September, a UAS crashed inside Arthur Ashe Stadium during a match.”

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