FAA to announce drone regulations
The Federal Aviation Administration is set to announce new rules for drone users Monday, as officials grapple with a surge of potentially risky drone flights in congested airspace.
CBS News reports that the rules will include a requirement that drone users register their devices.
The move comes after the FAA just proposed a record $1.9 million fine against an aerial photography company for flying drones in crowded New York and Chicago airspace without permission.
SkyPan International Inc. of Chicago operated 65 unauthorized flights between March 2012 and December 2014 in some of the nation's most congested airspace, the FAA said in a statement.
Flying drones in violation of federal regulations "is illegal and can be dangerous," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "We have the safest airspace in the world, and everyone who uses it must understand and observe our comprehensive set of rules and regulations."
FAA officials have said they are receiving multiple reports daily of drones flying in the vicinity of airports and airplanes. Between November 2014 and August 2015, the FAA received over 700 reports by pilots of drone sightings, although questions have been raised about whether some reports involved birds mistaken for drones. Most of the flights appear to be unauthorized.
Hobbyists are allowed to fly drones as long as they stay 5 miles away from an airport and fly no higher than 400 feet. The FAA has granted about 1,700 permits to commercial operators with similar restrictions.
Also, the U.S. Forest Service has reported 18 unauthorized drone flights above or near wildfires, and that 10 of the incidents hampered aerial fire-fighting operations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.