by Eben Griger
The United Nations has called for all drones worldwide to be entered into a database. This registry was originally thought up by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the organization in charge of all the UN’s aviation legislature. Ideally, they want this database to help format some sort of rules for civilian unmanned aircraft as well as let any country access the list of who’s got drones in case of an emergency.
This database won’t come easy. In the US alone, drone enthusiasts put up such a fight against the Federal Aviation Admission that the FAA eventually repealed it’s law requiring drones to be entered in a national registry, after only a year and a half.
In addition, while the ICAO sponsored the registry idea, they didn’t explicitly say who would be running it. It would make sense for the ICAO to take on the responsibility, but the UN hasn’t officially tasked anyone with it.
These issues aside, the UN is still faced with one big problem in implementing the database: they don’t have the power to enforce it. While countries tend to agree with things sponsored by the UN (like it’s declaration of human rights or economic sanctions), there’s nothing to stop countries from completely ignoring the things they don’t like.
So is a worldwide drone database likely? Not really. The amount of backlash in the US alone would probably kill it. But between the FAA regulations, China’s drone registration process, and the EU-backed European Aviation Safety Agency, the skies seem to be pretty safe for now.