Sens. Thune, Markey Seek Drone-Tracking Rules ASAP

Say public should be able to ID, track unmanned aircraft
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Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) say that recent drone sightings in "safety-sensitive" areas--like the Boston Red Sox' Fenway Park, says Markey--have put an exclamation point on their call for FAA to publish a proposed rule to let the public know who is flying where.

Drones are used for, among many other things, TV and movie production, as well as live sports and news.

drone

In a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the senators cite various sightings, including during the baseball game and one at Newark Liberty Airport that led to flights being halted.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Sen. John Thune

They point out that Congress directed the FAA to come up with drone-identification standards in 2016, with a two-year deadline that passed nearly a year ago, and that the legislation is key to insuring privacy as well as safety.

The senators say the rules would allow the public, the FAA, law enforcement, and others to track drones and identify their operators.

Sen. Ed Markey

Sen. Ed Markey

Related: Sen, Markey Says Privacy Regs Should Precede Drone Rules

The FCC proposed to loosen its commercial drone rules to allow commercial drones to be flown over people and at night "under certain conditions." Markey said identification rules should be a linchpin of any rule allowing drone flights over people.

A number of TV and movie producers have been granted waivers of general drone flight rules.

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