I honestly have to wonder what world the Federal Aviation Administration lives in. Their newest, timid, move to control the infestation of so-called “hobby drones” looks ineffective, possibly unworkable, and probably a waste of time and money. Yes folks, new drone owners are now required to register with the FAA.
As of early December, there were over 1,150 unmanned aircraft reported by pilots and crew in the U.S. Far too many were listed as “close encounters” — actually five times as many as the year before.
“Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users before they fly… and understand that they are accountable to the public for flying responsibility,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
This dubious solution will undoubtedly have little impact on the “registerees” — and none on those who skip the registration. Enforcement of the registration process will be sketchy, at best. The FAA does not have a treasure trove of inspectors, either.
Oh yes, drone owners now should mark each drone, with a federal registration number, and are required to keep their certificates handy when out flying. The number can be written in permanent marker or printed on a label.
According to one recent survey, 35.5 percent of reported drone incidents qualified as close encounters with manned aircraft. And more than 90 percent occurred above 400 feet, both a no-no of current FAA regulations, along with the other prohibition of flying within five miles of an airport. I can see the military and some commercial positives of drones. But why in the world the obvious danger of drone hobbyists should be tolerated is beyond comprehension.