Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), sponsor of the Consumer Drone Safety Act, today released the following statement after the FAA released data that show 650 incidents involving drones and aircraft occurred from January 1 through August 9.
“By the end of the year, it’s projected that more than 1 million recreational consumer drones, owned by individuals who have few rules to follow, will be in the sky. The new data released by the FAA should sound the alarm.
“The FAA has virtually no authority to regulate consumer drones and the effects are clear. In just the first seven months of 2015, there have already been 650 incidents between drones and aircraft, including commercial and firefighting aircraft. That’s nearly triple the total of last year.
“During a serious wildfire in California last month, a drone delayed aerial firefighting operations by 20 minutes. The fire then quickly grew and torched several cars when it leapt a highway. Just yesterday in Fresno, a medical helicopter carrying a patient to the hospital missed colliding with a drone by just 20 feet.
“The FAA needs the ability to set clear rules for when and where consumers can fly drones, require manufacturers to install basic technological safeguards and ensure consumers receive safety information. For those reasons, Congress must pass the Consumer Drone Safety Act as soon as possible, before there’s a tragedy.”