RANCHO MURIETA —
Federal regulators announced Monday they will require recreational drone users to register their aircraft with the federal government.
It’s the Federal Aviation Administration’s attempt to restore air traffic safety after seeing too many hazards, such as drones interfering with firefighters and novice pilots crashing drones into buildings.
Until Monday, only commercial drones required registration. Hobby drones were largely unregulated.
Tim Nelson of Pro Fly Aerial Imaging has been flying drones commercially for about six months. He said he is thrilled with the new rule. He believes it will keep people accountable for their actions.
“Crashing your multi-roter onto somebody’s kid on the beach is not acceptable, and I think the public will back off a lot when they realize that we’re trackable,” Nelson said. “People that do something stupid on purpose, they should be caught.”
The U.S. secretary of transportation has created a task force assigned with creating the rules drone owners will have to fly by.
One major task will be deciding which types of drones are a low-safety risk and would be exempt from registration.
Their deadline is November 20 — plenty of time before the holiday shopping season.
“Little Timmy’s Christmas toy is not really a threat to national airspace,” Nelson said, while holding a 1 pound quad-copter. “This is going to bounce off anything it hits, including people.”