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FAA Considering New Regulations To Help Track Drones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There are new rules possibly coming to the skies and drone owners need to be aware.

The Federal Aviation Administration says new rules they are considering would help them track drones.

Dave King is a professional drone pilot who believes the time has come for new FCC rules governing the operation of drones.

The day is coming when drones will be required to broadcast tracking signals allowing authorities to identify and locate operators and King believes it's a matter of security.

"If you have a rogue drone operator flying over the Pittsburgh Marathon, for example, police will be able to find that and prevent that from even getting anywhere near that," he said.

Dave Calig is president of the Pittsburgh Drone Masters, a group made up of commercial and recreational drone pilots.

"Is it needed? Yes, 100%," he said. "I think you need to be able to look at a craft and say, 'Who is that?' Much like a car, it's no different."

Over the next few years, companies will be making drone deliveries and King says rules are needed for the commercial integration of drones.

"Can you imagine how many hundreds of thousands of drones that are going to be in the airspace at any one time?" He imagined. "You got helicopters, that come out of anywhere at any time as low as 200 feet."

As of today, there are no limits or checks and balances on operators. The new FAA rules are in preparation for the day when drones are as plentiful as planes.

"The world does seem to be going that direction, I'm not opposed to it," said Calig. "I think it comes down to what is the quality of the flight and what was the importance of the flight."

"They're going to know how high you flew, how far away the drone operator was from the drone, and if they're still in the line of sight or not," added King.

The public will have several months to submit opinions on the proposed drone regulations, and they are not expected to go into effect for a few years.

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