FAA Acting Deputy Administrator Carl Burleson told attendees of the Singapore Airshow that regulations to track and identify drones would be coming this year.
CNBC reports that while participating in a panel discussion, Burleson said the FAA was primarily concerned with increasing security.
“If we were simply dealing with safety, it would be a hard-enough challenge as a regulator,” he told the audience. “But here we have a whole set of concerns and interest by the law enforcement community, by the national security community.”
“One of the first things we’re looking at, and hopefully get done this year, is some kind of rule-making on ID,” he said. “From the law enforcement standpoint, at least in our country, that’s pretty fundamental. People want to be able to track something — if something goes wrong, they can go back and try to figure out who is responsible.”
“Burleson said the FAA had an overall threefold approach to tackle drones,” says CNBC. “First, the regulator wants to integrate those aircraft into the national airspace system in the U.S. Second, it wants to make decisions based on what kind of risks an individual drone may pose. Finally, the FAA, Burleson said, wants to collect and study data that would help the authority to understand those risks better.”
Lawmakers and regulators are calling for better methods to enforce drone regulations and hold rogue operators accountable for endangering manned aircraft. The number of “incidents” reported between drones and manned aircraft is on the rise – those which remain conjecture and those which have now been proven.
At the same time, Drone ID and Tracking has been a contentious topic in the industry. Accusations of industry influence over which technology should be chosen as a standard and complaints over privacy and undue burden on drone operators have all been part of the discussion, as the FAA drone task force struggles to make recommendations that will satisfy all stakeholders.