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FILE - In this June 24, 2014 file photo, Jake Stoltz, left, and Trevor Woods of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, remotely pilot a Draganflyer X4ES drone during a demonstration at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Organizers of an annual unmanned aircraft conference are calling North Dakota the Silicon Valley of the drone world. Some of the top aerospace experts in the country are meeting Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Grand Forks to talk about research and business opportunities in the state. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)
AP Photo/Bruce Crummy
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HANDS OFF MY DRONE

The US plans to require people to register their drones

By Alice Truong

The US government plans to require consumers to register their drone purchases with the Department of Transportation before the end of the year.

According to NBC News, the government could make the announcement in the coming days, with the measures going into effect by the holiday season. The department also plans to work with drone manufacturers to set a system for registering the devices.

In the US, consumer drones currently operate in legal limbo. Both consumers and drone operators have been waiting for guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration for integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into US airspace, but the FAA missed a Sep. 30, 2015 deadline imposed by Congress.

The agency said earlier this month that it expects more than 1 million drones “under Christmas trees this year.” Given the numerous incidents already—hobby drones flying near busy airports or obstructing firefighters from putting out blazes—it’s clear regulations are needed before these flying gifts are unwrapped.