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What’s That up There?

February 24, 2016

A bird? A plane? No, it’s a drone!

Picture this: it’s a sunny Sunday afternoon. You’re at a park riding your bike when all of a sudden you see this thing in the sky that is zooming around like an airplane, hovering like a helicopter, and yet small enough to fit on a chair. Wondering what that is? It’s most likely a recreational (or toy) drone, also called an “unmanned aerial vehicle”. Drones can be very useful–filmmakers use drones to capture sweeping overhead scenes and Amazon.com is hoping to one day use drones to deliver packages to your doorstep. Drones are also just plain fun! It’s a toy that you can fly around using a remote control, computer, or smart phone, and people who love taking pictures can use it to capture photos like that of a bird’s nest in a tree. Awesome, right?

There’s no doubt that drones are fun and can be very useful, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  is worried that drones can be a danger to airplanes, helicopters, and public spaces. That’s why there’s a new rule that anyone who owns a drone must register his or her drone with the FAA. 185,000 drones have already been registered but since there were probably around a million drones sold just during the last holiday season alone, there are definitely a few more out there that need to be registered.