Customers who are thinking of purchasing a new drone this Christmas will have to register it with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, has increased rapidly in the last few years. However, flying drones remains largely unregulated and they can also pose a threat to aircrafts.

NBC News reported that the U.S. government is concerned over flying drones near some of the busiest airports in the nation. The NBC News report suggests that the federal government will announce its plans of requiring drone owners to register with the Department of Transportation on Monday, Oct. 19.

In July this year, a drone went dangerously close to a passenger airline that had more than 150 people which was about to land at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The drone was flying at a close distance of just about 100 feet from the passenger airline. The normal safe distance between aircrafts is at least 1,000 feet.

During the recent California wildfire in July, many drones were trying to capture aerial images of the burning forests, this interfered with firefighters' attempts to successfully extinguish the fire. In a separate incident, a drone also tried to fly over the White House.

Sales of drones increase during the holiday season and the new regulations on UAV are expected to be enforced before the holiday season, which means that all drones purchased before Christmas will have to be registered with the Department of Transportation.

Drones can be very helpful in rescue operations when aerial views of affected areas are needed. For example, drones can be used to find stranded people in flooded areas.

However, many drone pilots are taking flying UAVs as a hobby, which can be a threat to others.

Per a previous Tech Times report, a woman was knocked down and went unconscious when a flying drone dropped down on her during the Seattle LGBT Pride Parade. Probably, the drone pilot was trying to capture aerial images of the parade but lost control over the UAV. 

With drones set to be registered in the near term, hopefully such incidents will be avoided and alleviate the privacy concerns as well.

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