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If the Gatwick drone incident over in the UK illustrated anything it was that travel authorities need a way to identify drones quickly so that they can get rid of them.
One of the United Kingdom’s major airports was not only shut down by a drone but it was during the busy Christmas travel season.
And, all this time after, no one is even sure what happened exactly.
Across the Atlantic, the Federal Aviation Administration in the US took note and decided they didn’t want the same thing happening over in the States.
That’s why the government agency unveiled plans recently to beeline drone identification and anti-drone technology programs. As DPReview reports, this piggybacks on the initial efforts by the FAA to streamline drone registration that started all the way back in 2017.
A report in November 2018 in the Wall Street Journal said that the FAA was running behind in its efforts to identify and potentially disable errant UAVs, and the Gatwick incident probably served as an extra kick in the pants for the administration to develop this technology as soon as possible.
Of course, nothing is going to happen that quickly – especially with the government. DPReview reports that they agency will begin finalizing a lot of its rules for registration and pilot identification this year with everything being set in stone two years from now, possibly sooner. The real boon from all of this will be that it allows companies to work within a somewhat standardized framework and develop drone identification and anti-UAV technology along those lines.
The FAA isn’t alone in making the skies safe for both drones and commercial aircraft. A lot of the major drone manufacturers, DJI in particular, are pioneering voluntary programs to register and identify drone owners and pilots. They are even helping with licensure, testing, and are actively working with governments to make sure that everyone is playing by the rules.