U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has pledged to propose an amendment in this fall's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill to require manufacturers to implement geo-fencing technology or other similar solutions on all drones in order to prevent them from flying in no-fly zones, such as airports.
According to Schumer, even though manufacturers are already experimenting with placing this type of technology in drones, all manufacturers should be required to implement the software right away.
“Near misses between drones and passenger airliners are spiking, and we must act now before a real tragedy occurs,” the senator explains. “This [geo-fencing] technology works and will effectively ‘fence off’ drones from sensitive areas like airports. When it comes to drones in the vicinity of commercial flights carrying hundreds of passengers at a time, the FAA has been playing whack-a-mole across the skies, and that’s certainly not good enough.”
Schumer says he had hoped a geo-fencing requirement would be included in the reauthorization bill, but with recent reports that Congress will extend current FAA policy through at least 2016, an amendment to that extension could be the only way to implement such a requirement this year.