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NBC News Reports US Will Require Registration For Consumer Drones

Gizmodo and Engadget are both reporting (and both pointing to a report at NBC News) that the Department of Transportation is expected to announce Monday a plan to regulate drone use in the U.S., based on fears of danger to aviation. From the relied-on report at NBC News:

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. … 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.

That sounds like an impossible task, if it’s to take in all remote-controlled flying devices that might be described as drones. About this time last year, Chris Anderson (ex-Wired editor, and now head of 3D Robotics) estimated that about half a million drones had already been sold in the U.S., and that sounds like an undercount even for then, given the many cheap-and-cheerful options. From suppliers like Banggood, tiny quadcopters can now be had for less than $20, though it’s hard to think of them as a danger to aviation.


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