The US Department of Transportation has announced plans to put together a task force entrusted with creating a registration process that certain drone operators will be required to adhere to.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta said the task force will be led by as many as 30 representatives from the unmanned aircraft systems and manned aviation industries as well as individuals from the federal government.
Specifically, the task force will advise the department on which drones should be registered. Additionally, they’ll explore options to streamline the registration process for commercial unmanned aircraft operators.
Foxx said registering unmanned aircraft will help build a culture of accountability and responsibility, especially among newcomers that have zero experience operating in the US aviation system. Above all, the aim is to protect public safety both in the air and on the ground.
The registration process is no doubt in response to a growing list of near misses between commercial aircraft and unmanned drones. In California alone, there are nearly 200 documented reports of such encounters. Fortunately, none of the incidents have resulted in a collision or worse, injury.
Activity around airports isn’t the only reason for concern as the FAA said it has fielded complains regarding drones at major sporting events and interfering with firefighters.
The group is expected to have its report ready by November 20.