WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government will require many drone aircraft to be registered.READ MORE: Decades Later, Family Gets Apology From Dallas Police Over Death Of 12-Year-Old Santos Rodriguez
The move is being prompted by a growing number of reported close calls and incidents that pose safety risks. The government says pilot sightings of drones have doubled since last year, including sightings near manned aircraft and major sporting events, and interference with wildfire-fighting operations.
Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta says the reports “signal a troubling trend.” He says registration will increase pressure on drone operators to fly responsibly, otherwise “there will be consequences.”READ MORE: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Steven Weinberg Dies At 88 In Texas Hospital
To work out details, the FAA and the Transportation Department are setting up a 25- to-30-member task force including government and industry officials and hobbyists. They’ll recommend which drones should be required to register and which should be exempted. The intent is to design a system that makes it easy for commercial operators to comply.
Toys and small drones are likely to be exempt. Drones that weigh only a pound or two or that can’t fly higher than a few hundred feet are considered less risky. Heavier ones and those that can fly thousands of feet pose more of a problem.MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 1 Injured In Shooting Involving Fight In Irving, Police Say
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