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ICAO Proposes Global Drone Database

ICAO Proposes Global Drone Database
Jackie Reddy

A worldwide registry will serve as a single point of reference for those looking to identify drones and their respective operators.

Reuters has reported that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has called for the creation of a worldwide database of drones. This database will allow ICAO to identify and track both drones as well as their operators, says the news agency.

While it has not yet been clarified who will create and maintain the database, the news agency reports that ICAO itself may have the ultimate responsibility for this global drone registry. The body, which sets aviation standards across 191 of its member nations, has also recently been charged with setting regulations for the usage of drones.

The intent is that the database will serve as a central global source for both civilian operators as well as civilian owners of drones. While it is unclear if this database will list those devices used in a commercial or military capacity, it means that local and national agencies in different parts of the world will not need to build their own separate registries.

Speaking of ICAO’s proposal to the news agency, Stephen Creamer, director of the body’s air navigation bureau, said, “You’ve got to have some commonality so that you’re not carrying five receivers in your police car.”

“They [drone makers] are worried that Europe might create one set of standards, United States might do a second and China might do a third. And they’ve got to build a drone differently in these different environments,” he added.

ICAO’s proposal also has support from those within the aviation industry. Parimal Kopardekar, a principal investigator for the Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) at the NASA Ames Research Center, is in favor of some form of standardization of drone usage and tracking.

In a telephone conversation with Reuters, he said, “I think it’s smart that ICAO is trying to harmonize it. If you have a drone that you build in one country you should be able to use it in another country and vice versa.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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