Register all drones? Fears surround DOT mandate plan

The St. Cloud Times discusses with Marc Scribner the problems behind FAA drone regulations.

"Do we expect pilots to see tiny numbering on these drones from their cockpits? I don't think so," said Marc Scribner, research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Scribner said he thinks a rule for electronically interrogating flying machines is impractical. "I don't think (the FAA has) the legal authority to do that without congressional action, period," he said. Some people have also questioned under what authority the government is creating these rules, as the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 prohibits any new regulations for recreational operators. "It appears any sort of regulation that goes after these hobbyists' aircraft is forbidden by Congress," Scribner said.

He said a second legal problem may be the speed at which the DOT wants to move. The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 lays out the process to form a final rule, Scribner said. In most cases, that can take years. In this case, federal agencies want to form and enforce a rule in about two months.