The United Nations has revealed a controversial proposal to create a worldwide drone registry that would require UAV owners around the globe to register their details in a single unified database. The registry would, in an ideal situation, serve as a single database through which government and law enforcement officials in many countries could access drone operator information from a central location.
The proposal was recently detailed by Reuters, which reports that the plan was put forth by the UN agency International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The agency intends to hold a symposium next week to discuss drone-related matters, though details about this proposal are still largely absent.
Central to the goal behind a single global registry is the ability to create standardized regulations that could be adopted by many countries. Such standardization would relieve the burden drone makers currently face over creating devices that meet the requirements of different markets. Whether the ICAO would operate the database isn’t clear.
Talking about this during an interview with Reuters last week, ICAO air navigation bureau director Stephen Creamer explained that drone manufacturers “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.”
Whether any given country would be willing to adopt the proposed registry and accompanying global regulations is yet to be seen. Compounding potential problems may be backlash from some consumers who are resistant to drone registries, the personal information they require, and the associated fees. Earlier this year, for example, a legal case brought against the FAA resulted in its Registration Rule being struck down for model aircraft.