The warning signal is blaring about the coming of drones that are going to fill the sky. Federal aviation officials said there could be millions of drones crowding the nation’s skies in the not-too-distant future.
What’s the answer? More regulations will have to be placed on drones. Expect to see many areas off limits to drones.
The Associated Press reported that in the nine months since the Federal Aviation Administration created a drone registration system, more than 550,000 unmanned aircraft have been registered with the agency. New registrations are coming in at a rate of 2,000 a day.
The drones have surpassed the number of manned aircrafts registered. There are 260,165 manned aircraft registered in the United States.
Already, 13,710 people have applied to take the exam for a drone pilot’s license, and 5,080 have passed it. The FFA expects more than 1.3 million licensed drone pilots by 2020.
Drone sales in the U.S. are expected to top 2.4 million aircraft this year. That would be double last year’s sales. NASA is working with industry and the FFA to create a new low-altitude air traffic control system for drones.
There will be drone collisions due to the large number. They will pose a threat to manned aircraft. Even though banned from airspace at some locations, what will it take to enforce that regulation in equipment and manpower? People will be angered by drones over their properties. Will they shoot them down? There will be drone crashes due to a number of factors, including weather, and there will be some damage to property. Will insurance companies sell drone insurance? What is the liability of a drone owner and operator? Then there’s the privacy issue!
There are so many questions about the future of drones and the effect they will have on society that it’s mind-boggling. One thing is for sure, more and more regulations will be coming because of drones.