Republican calls for national drone registry

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) is calling for for a national drone registry, saying drones “pose a real risk to firefighters, the airlines, to all manner of public service.”

The chairman of the House Subcommittee on Aviation said he is worried about unregulated use of drones, warning that an estimated 1 million drones will be sold this holiday season. 

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"We’re trying to press the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with rules and regulations. … How do [people] operate them safely? How do they operate them without interfering with privacy issues?” LoBiondo said in an interview with John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable" on New York's AM-970, set to air Sunday.

"If you’re going to purchase … a drone, a manufacturer should be responsible for the registry process. … We have to keep pressing for the FAA to call for registration," he added. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been in the process of developing rules for commercial drones, but the new rules would also apply to recreational devices.

Some lawmakers have raised concerns about potential privacy violations from increased drone use, saying the registration requirements should not be too burdensome for drone users.  

Recreational drone users have have bristled at the FAA's methods of tracking close calls.  

“The term UAS [unmanned aerial system] has been applied to a broad range of platforms from toys with limited capabilities to large, sophisticated systems that weigh hundreds of pounds," the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which is also participating in a task force on drone registration requirements, said Monday. 

"Registration of UAS that meet an appropriate threshold of weight, capability and other safety-related characteristics makes sense, but it should not become a prohibitive burden for recreational users who fly for fun and educational purposes and who have operated harmoniously within our communities for decades," the model aeronautics group continued.