Coming For Christmas – A Million Drones


As many as a million new toy drones could be given as Christmas gifts this year, an FAA official said at an Airlines for America event in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Rich Swayze, an assistant administrator for policy, said he heard the one-million figure from “several sources” that are studying the impact of drones. Swayze said FAA representatives plan to talk to officials at Wal-Mart — which lists 19 different drones for sale online — about having sales staff inform drone-buyers about safety. “We’re trying to get out and educate people about potential dangers,” he said. “A lot of people who don’t have a pilot background are operating these things in the airspace.”

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said technology should address the safety issues. “The toys, in my opinion, should be set up so they can’t be sold unless they’re geo-fenced for altitude and perimeters,” he said. Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley, also speaking at the A4A conference, said small drones are “a very serious issue,” adding, “there’s considerable concern that it’s going to end in tears.”