Feds: Drones are a hazard to be regulated

One News Now interviews CEI's Marc Scribner on the federal government's plans to regulate drones.

Foxx et al. have announced the formation of a task force compiled of government and industry officials and hobbyists to decide which drones need to be registered and how. A report from that task force is expected in November, and formal rules will be announced in December. That's where Marc Scribner, a fellow following transportation policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, sees problems.

“In 2012, in the FAA reauthorization, Congress explicitly told FAA that it can't regulate model aircraft and the way that is currently defined in law would cover a number of the particularly smaller toy-like drones that you can buy online or in stores,” he says. “Second, it isn't clear that the FAA can do this in the sort of timeframe that it's talking about."

Scribner says a new regulation typically involves a formal notice and comment process, something that takes months or even years in some cases. "So for them to say they're going to get this all done in two months suggests to me that they're going to try some pretty 'out there' legal maneuvers," he says.

That is the biggest concern Scribner has about the registration mandate effort. "It would set a dangerous precedent in administrative law generally," he warns.