A federal task force announced its recommendations this week with the hope the registry would be running by the end of the year. The aim is to regulate hobbyists and reduce aerial dangers such as close calls with airplanes.
“The timeline involved in this registration initiative is certainly unprecedented,” said Douglas Johnson, an executive at the Consumer Technology Association, which was part of the task force.
“It’s a matter of weeks from start to finish.”
Drone sales are expected to top 700,000 this year alone, with 400,000 sold during the holiday gift-giving season. CTA projects sales this year to jump more than 60 percent as hobbyists grab more affordable and smaller models.
“We are going to see a ton of drones in the airspace very soon and especially over the holiday season, so basically the FAA decided we need to do something fast about this,” said Brett Velicovich, one of the founders of Expert Drones, which will open next year in Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, NJ.
Recreational drones range from the hot-selling Phantom 3 Professional, which costs more than $1,000, to tiny nano-drones with cameras that run a couple hundred dollars.