Department of Transportation Planning to Require Drones to Be Registered

The program could be up and running by December.

October 17, 2015, 7:44 AM

— -- The Department of Transportation will announce a plan that would require people to register their drones, a source confirmed to ABC News.

A news conference is scheduled for Monday in which Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta will make a safety announcement regarding the use of unmanned aircraft systems. A task force would be created to implement the program.

The plan could go into effect possibly by Christmas, according to the source.

Unauthorized drone flights have been in the news recently, particularly the ones that operate around areas such as airports and wildfires. From November 2014 to August 2015, the FAA received more than 700 reports of drone sightings from pilots. The U.S. Forest Service also reported 18 illegal drone flights over wildfires.

Last September, a drone crashed inside Louis Armstrong Stadium during a match at the U.S. Open in New York between Flavia Pennetta and Monica Niculescu. There were no spectators in the area where the crash took place and no injuries. A New York City teacher who allegedly crashed the drone was arrested and faced charges of reckless endangerment, ESPN reported at the time.

This past January, a small drone was discovered on the White House grounds, according to the Secret Service. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said at the time that the incident “does not pose any sort of ongoing threat.” A government employee who accidentally crashed the drone won’t face criminal charges but the FAA may still seek administrative action, the Justice Department said in March.

The FAA recently signed an agreement to test technology that could track down people who operate drones that make unauthorized flights around airports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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