MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Drones are expected to be the hot holiday item this year and that is why the Obama administration is now cracking down on the growing use of recreational drones.
The Federal Aviation Administration is developing new rules requiring owners to register most “unmanned aerial vehicles.”
People who fly drones in public airspace will soon have to register their unmanned aircraft with the government.
“This is a positive step forward for safety in our skies,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The Department of Transportation is setting up a task force to develop the new rules and decide which drones will need to be registered. The plan is to have the system in place during the holiday shopping season when tens of thousands of recreational drones are expected to be sold.
Pilots are reporting significant increases in drone sightings in the past year. Many of the sightings have been in restricted airspace but officials had problems punishing those responsible even if the drone crashed.
“There can be no accountability if the person breaking the rules cannot be identified. Registration will now allow them to identify them,” said Foxx.
But critics argue the new rules will be difficult to enforce.
One industry spokesman told CBS News the move is “a knee jerk reaction” with an “arbitrary timeline.”
Drone enthusiast Bill Welch is skeptical the system will work.
“It is going to take a lot of time, but I just know how they are going to be able to do it,” said Welch.
In recent months, drones have crashed near the White House, in the stands at the U.S. Open.and interfered with efforts to battle wildfires out west.
Rules for use of the drone are not expected to change just the particulars on who has to register and what kind of info has to be provided.
Drones aren’t allowed to fly in restricted airspace, fly above 400 feet, or within five miles of an airport.