US to require registration of drones

October 19, 2015 |

Drones pose an ongoing challenge for regulators and one that, in the US at least, can’t wait much longer.  So it is not surprising that the Federal Aviation Authority to take steps, with the use of technology, to detect drones near airports according to the FAA’s report titled FAA Expands Unmanned Aircraft Pathfinder Efforts.  The problem is that the changes only deal with the pressing problem.  The privacy issues remain and are not being properly addressed.

The article provides:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has entered into a Pathfinder agreement with CACI International Inc. to evaluate how the company’s technology can help detect Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the vicinity of airports.

In testimony today before the House Aviation Subcommittee, FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker said that flying an unmanned aircraft near a busy airfield poses an unacceptable safety hazard. During the hearing titled, “Ensuring Aviation Safety in the Era of Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” Whitaker told the congressional panel the FAA signed an agreement this week to assess the safety and security capabilities of CACI’s product within a five-mile radius of airports, and the agency also will collaborate with its government partners.

A steep increase in reports of small unmanned aircraft in close proximity to runways is presenting a new challenge for the FAA. It is the agency’s responsibility to identify possible gaps in safety and address them before an incident occurs.

The CACI partnership is part of the larger UAS Pathfinder Program, which the FAA announced in May 2015. Pathfinder is a framework for the agency to work closely with industry to explore the next steps in unmanned aircraft operations beyond those proposed in February in the draft small UAS rule.

“Safety is always the FAA’s top priority, and we are concerned about the increasing number of instances where pilots have reported seeing unmanned aircraft flying nearby,” said Whitaker. “We are looking forward to working with CACI and our interagency partners to identify and evaluate new technologies that could enhance safety for all users of the nation’s airspace.”

“CACI is proud to partner in the FAA’s Pathfinder cooperative research and development agreement to address the escalating Unmanned Aircraft Systems safety challenges that airports are facing nationwide,” said John Mengucci, CACI’s Chief Operating Officer and President of U.S. Operations. “The agreement provides a proven way to passively detect, identify, and track UAS – or aerial drones – and their ground-based operators, in order to protect airspace from inadvertent or unlawful misuse of drones near U.S. airports. This CACI-built solution will help ensure a safe, shared airspace while supporting responsible UAS users’ right to operate their aircraft.”

CACI’s prototype UAS sensor detection system will be evaluated at airports selected by the FAA. The agency and its federal government partners will work with the company to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology, while also ensuring that it does not interfere with the safety and security of normal airport operations.

A more long term solution in terms of accountability for safety breaches and other issues is the covered in  NBC’s report of U.S. Will Require Drones to Be Registered  which provides:

The federal government will announce a new plan requiring anyone buying a drone to register the device with the U.S. Department of Transportation, NBC news has learned.

The government has been concerned about the rise in close calls between unmanned drones and aircraft flying into and out of some of the nation’s biggest airports. The plan is expected to be announced Monday.

In July, there was a dangerously close encounter between a drone and a passenger jet with 159 people aboard setting up to land at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The unmanned aerial vehicle was just 100 feet away from the passenger jet at an altitude of 1,700 feet; normal safe separation distance is between aircraft is at least 1,000 feet.

Private drones were also blamed for hampering aerial firefighting efforts over a California blaze in July.

Firefighting aircraft trying to attack the fast-moving blaze in the Cajon Pass had to leave the area for around 20 minutes over safety concerns, officials said. The fire swept over a busy freeway and torched 20 vehicles.

Under the plan, the government would work with the drone industry to set up a structure for registering the drones, and the regulations could be in place by Christmas.

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $1.9 million fine against Chicago drone company SkyPan, which was alleged to have flown dozens of unauthorized flights over Chicago and New York since 2012.

One Response to “US to require registration of drones”

  1. US to require registration of drones | Australian Law Blogs

    […] US to require registration of drones […]

Leave a Reply





Verified by MonsterInsights