Add the Illinois Department of Transportation to the list of government agencies closely watching the sales of drones this holiday season. The Federal Aviation Administration's new drone registration program is now in place and IDOT is weighing in.
Because of their growing popularity as Christmas gifts this year, the department has sent out information about drones. Linda Schumm, chief of the department's Aviation Safety Bureau, says the Federal Aviation Administration estimates the number of drones sold in the US will double in the final quarter of the year, because of Christmas.
"Usually, we talk to folks about getting flying lessons as Christmas presents. This is a little different. It's actually very exciting."
Since drones are considered to be aircraft, operators are considered pilots, and the rules include do not fly a drone more than 400 feet above the ground, or within 5 miles of an airport. These rules have been in effect for years, for remote control model airplanes.