Transportation Committee Expresses Concerns About Drone-Airplane Collisions
UNITED STATES – According to an online news report from insurancejournal.com, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has expressed concerns about the possibility for collisions between drones and aircraft in the United States. Lawmakers are working on regulations that would prevent these types of accidents from occurring.*
In statements made on February 8, Rep. Peter DeFazio said that lawmakers needed to appreciate the risks associated with uncontrolled drone activity.
“This is really serious when these things are flying around, and it could kill the commercial drone industry,” DeFazio said. “We’re worried about the 2 million people who bought or got toy drones for Christmas the last couple of years who are regularly flying in violation of the law.”
The possibility for a collision or other type of threat involving drones was highlighted in December, when the Gatwick Airport in London, England, experienced an extreme disturbance because of drone sightings. The airport was closed and hundreds of flights were canceled. A similar event occurred at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, when numerous flights were delayed or rerouted because of drone sightings.
The United States Department of Transportation says that close to 1.3 million drones are registered in the country, with more than 115,000 documented drone owners. The department estimates that several hundred thousand drones are being used in the United States unregistered.
The Federal Aviation Administration would like to pass regulations requiring ID and tracking on the devices. It is also considering limitations on speed and altitude for drones. Regulatory bodies and lawmakers have pointed out that they do not want to impede growth for commercial drones but merely want to protect the public from potential dangers.
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