From Hobby to Hazard: Addressing the Overpopulation of Domestic Drones in the National Airspace System

April 2016

Domestic drones are becoming more and more popular in the United States. The FAA did not expect the exponential boost in drone presence within its airspace in the first half of 2015. Drones have now become a safety concern for manned flight throughout the country. This paper will explain why there is overpopulation in the airspace and provide recommendations to help remedy the problem. Due to market innovation, lax regulations, and genuine curiosity, the market for the drones has grown quickly. As materials become cheaper, more competition is allowed to enter the market. With prices going down, demand is increasing. The FAA will need to create regulations that will act quickly to address the problem before it is too large to handle. This paper recommends that the FAA mandates registration of all drones in the airspace and create geo-fences to keep drones out of safety hazard zones.