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Drone Safety At Center Of New York City Council Hearing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York City Council is considering new laws covering the use of drones following several reports of close calls between airplanes and the devices in the air.

With 1 million drones expected to be purchased this holiday season, city lawmakers are looking into the new technology.

The council heard from Thomas Bosco, the aviation director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who has put out a standing order about drones, known technically as unmanned aerial vehicles.

It says if "the supervisor judges the UAV to pose an imminent threat to the safety of aircraft operations and that of the air traveling public, the supervisor shall take immediate action to eliminate that threat, including the discharge of an authorized firearm," Bosco said. "The drone may indeed constitute an imminent threat if it is observed operating within airspace actively in use by aircraft arriving and departing."

Various City Council bills would require certain drone operators, not hobbyists, be licensed and the drones be registered and insured.

But Bosco believes more needs to be done, saying "unfortunately, registration alone will not and cannot prevent an unauthorized entry into protected airspace by a drone."

The hearing comes ahead of anticipated federal regulations expected in December. Proposed laws would require drones be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.


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