Regulators moving to require registration of drones

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The growing popularity of drones means increased security of even recreational users and hobbyists. Regulators are moving to require the registration of even small crafts.

It's almost certain the proposed registration of drones will happen for all drones weighing slightly more than half a pound. What's also certain is you will continue to have a wide variety of drones to choose from.

Drones come in every shape, size and price range. Many are even sold in toy stores.

Alex Roth of the gaming and entertainment website IGN said you can expect many more drones taking to our skies in the years ahead. "They're cheaper and easier to maintain than you know, old remote controlled planes and things like that. They don't run on gas," IGN spokesperson Alex Roth said.

As of last year, there were 175 incidents of drones flying in restricted air space across the country.

The FAA said registration will provide an opportunity to educate operators and help it go after those who don't follow the rules.

Current regulations require those who fly model aircraft for a hobby or recreational purpose to stay below 400 feet and keep their drone in their eyesight.

You must also notify air traffic control if you get within five miles of an airport.

Those rules are expected to be updated by June.

Among the most popular drones being sold in toy and electronic stores this year is the Millenian Falcon. "It's a cool toy, It's a good gift to give and it's also a nice way to get back in touch with Star Wars," Best Buy spokesperson Antony Varghese said.

The Millenian Falcon retails for $110.

The RC Flying Quad Copter from Skyrocket Toys blends the thrills of flying with a way to connect to social media.

Some models come with cameras that enable you to stream live video onto your phone. "It saves directly onto your smart device and then you can upload it to any of your favorite social media sites," Skyrocket Toys spokesperson Kristy Burns said.

There are four different versions ranging in price from $30 to $100.

For the more serious hobbyist, you can get a thermal imaging camera for your drone from Flir.

The thermal camera can be mounted to replace your regular one. "You can use it to see in total darkness or you can use it to find a small child or your pet that's gone missing," Flir Systems spokesperson Bruce Cumming said. It retails for $1499.

Some manufacturers have programmed their products to never fly near airports or above 400 feet.

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