In an effort to improve the accountability of drone users, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced plans to require drone users to register their "unmanned aircraft systems." Additionally, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the creation of a task force to finalize the details of the registration system, including which drones must be registered. The task force may create a streamlined process for commercial drone users and recommend additional rules by November 20, 2015.
Transportation Secretary Foxx stated that the FAA receives troubling reports of drone use on a daily basis, a report that is corroborated by a number of recent news stories. Drones have been spotted above public emergencies like wildfires, sometimes even interfering with firefighters' efforts. Secretary Foxx also mentioned drone incidents around major sporting events—publicized "no drone zones."
In addition to the task force's forthcoming rules and recommendations, drone users should also remember that the FAA's proposed rules may be finalized soon. We wrote about the proposed regulations earlier this year. In June, a senior FAA official stated that a finalized rule would "be in place within a year."