Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is pushing for an amendment to require the adoption of geofencing technology in unmanned aerial vehicles as part of a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill.
Schumer said Wednesday he believes that geofencing equipment or other no-fly zone devices will help prevent UAVs from operating near airports where they could collide with passenger aircraft.
FAA found that the number of drone sightings over sensitive airspace increased from 238 during 2014 to more than 650 by Aug. 9, 2015.
Additionally, aircraft pilots reported seeing UAVs flying close to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 feet in recent weeks.
Schumer believes drones can aid in research, data collection, military training, search and rescue, and agricultural activities, but he said a lack of drone regulation can endanger commercial flight safety.
“Near-misses between drones and passenger airliners are spiking and we must act now, before a real tragedy occurs,” he added.