As more and more drones fill the skies, the main federal aviation regulator wants to be able to keep an eye on them. The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a rule Thursday that calls for most drones to have remote IDs that would let officials track them in real time, reports Cnet.com. “Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and Federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The rule would apply to all drones required to register with the agency, which means recreational drones of about a half a pound or less would be exempt.
Drones are already handling jobs such as making movies, monitoring oil refineries, gathering military intelligence and aiding search and rescue operations. Amazon Prime Air has a new delivery drone design, and UPS wants to deliver medical supplies to hospitals and to homes. Drones can cause trouble. Around this time last year, drone sightings disrupted services at the UK’s second-busiest airport, causing problems for tens of thousands of holiday travelers, as flights were canceled, delayed or diverted. And though firefighters are looking to drones to help battle blazes, the pint-size aircraft have also been known to interfere with planes dropping water and chemical retardants. The FAA made the proposed drone regulation available via the Federal Register and will open a 60-day public-comment period soon.