US: More registered drone operators than licensed pilots

February 8, 2016 byJoan Lowy

The Federal Aviation Administration says there are now more registered drone operators in the U.S. than there are licensed pilots.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a legal forum on Monday that the agency passed the last week when it topped 325,000 registered drone owners. There are 320,000 licensed pilots of manned aircraft.

Huerta said the number of small unmanned aircraft is even larger because often own more than one drone.

FAA officials launched a drone registration program just before the end of 2015, saying it would help them track down operators who violate regulations and also help to create a culture of accountability.

Huerta said the speed with which registration has taken off is proof that government and industry can work together.

Explore further: FAA tells drone owners to skip registration firms

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