Drone enthusiasts brace for plan of new registration system of unmanned aircraft

Posted at 10:11 PM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-20 00:11:04-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Drone owners will soon have to register their unmanned aircraft much like they do with their car.

On Monday the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA announced the government's new goal.

According to the FAA, every month they receive about 100 calls from pilots, nationwide, reporting drones flying into their airspace. There have also been cases of drones landing inside sporting events and even the White House lawn.

However, in many cases those responsible are never held accountable.

"If unmanned aircraft operators break the rules clearly there should be consequences yet there can be no accountability if the person breaking the rules can't be identified," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The government says things are only going to get worse, as 700,000 drones are expected to be sold this holiday season, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

"It's a big brother situation and we knew it was coming," said James Bollinger.

Bollinger sells drones at the electronics store TV Specialists in Salt Lake City. He believes many people will think twice before buying one, once the government requires them to be registered.

"I think it's a scare tactic," Bollinger said. "Maybe they don't want their name, their social security number, whatever it is I don't want it out there so no I'm not going to buy it."

Bollinger said he's also concerned with how much time the registration process may take. He said it punishes those who are already playing by the rules.

"We don't want to see our customers, people who are doing this and know all the safety measures and things like that, grounded because of this process," Bollinger said.

Bollinger agrees safety is the most important aspect when it comes to unmanned aircrafts, but he added the timing of this announcement, right before the holidays, may indicate the government has ulterior motives.

"It's a little bit of a shock the fact that they are rushing through it," Bollinger said. "I think the reason they are doing it is because they know how hot, the government knows how hot these are."

The U.S. Government is in the process of putting together a task force, made up of the Dept. of Transportation and the FAA, as well as people from the drone community, to look at how they plan to implement this new registration system.

They are scheduled to unveil that plan by Nov. 20.