Regulating The Wild West Of U.S. Drones

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Getting a handle on America’s drones. The Federal government now wants to register maybe millions. Maybe yours.

Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Dave Durbin prepares to fly a drone during a demonstration of a search and rescue operation on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in Dublin, Calif.  (AP)
Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Dave Durbin prepares to fly a drone during a demonstration of a search and rescue operation on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in Dublin, Calif. (AP)

Suddenly, Washington is putting pedal to the metal on regulating drones in the sky. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx this week announcing that in the space of a few weeks, he wants unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – registered. Not just whopping big ones, but the pizza-box-sized ones that are expected to fly off the shelves in the hundreds of thousands, maybe more, by this Christmas. They’re buzzing airports, airplanes, the White House. Crashing into the U.S. Open. This hour On Point, the sudden rush to get a handle on America’s drones. Plus, a big whistle blown on US military drone strikes abroad.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Andy Pasztor, aviation and aerospace reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

Tyler Collins, director of business develop at PrecisionHawk. Member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Drone-Registration Task Force.

Michael Drobac, executive director of the Small UAV Coalition. (@mdrobac1)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Launches Fast-Track Process for Rules on Drones — "U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said he would expedite new rules to require recreational drone owners to register their devices before Christmas, an unusual move that he called necessary because drones are endangering manned aircraft."

The Verge: U.S. Government to Require Registration of Some Small Drones -- "Full registration rules haven't been developed, but the department wants them to be finished soon. It's created a task force that'll deliver a report and recommendations on how to implement the registration process by November 20th. Though few details have been nailed down, the department says that it doesn't intend to require regulation for all drones."

Washington Post: Federal regulators to require registration of recreational drones — "U.S. officials said they still need to sort out the basic details of the registration system — which they hope to set up within two months — but concluded that they had to take swift action to cope with a surge in sales of inexpensive, simple-to-fly drones that are interfering with regular air traffic."

U.S. Drone Strikes Less Exact Than Government Claims

Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of the Intercept. Lead author of "The Drone Papers," an in-depth expose on the U.S. drone warfare program. Author of "Dirty Wars" and "Blackwater." (@jeremyscahill)

The Intercept: The Drone Papers -- "The White House and Pentagon boast that the targeted killing program is precise and that civilian deaths are minimal. However, documents detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets."

This program aired on October 21, 2015.



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