IATA wants to join ICAO in creation of global registry for commercial drones


MONTREAL — The association representing global airlines is proposing to work with the UN aviation agency to institute a global registry for commercial drones to preserve the safety of flight.

IATA is scheduled to meet with the International Civil Aviation Organization on Wednesday to discuss creating a joint registry.

Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transportation Association, says airlines are concerned about drones from a safety perspective.

He says authorities have mostly banned the devices around airports, but a registry is needed as their use is expected to grow.

De Juniac told reporters at an IATA conference that a registry will allow authorities to know how many drones are flying and require operators to be accountable.

Drones were discussed at an international event hosted by ICAO last September. Another event is planned for China.

IATA vice-president Gilberto Lopez-Meyer says a global registry is required because new entrants like Amazon and Google are pushing the use of drones.

He says achieving an agreement to establish a registry will be difficult, but is feasible.

Instead of a patchwork of databases, a single registry would allow legal authorities to track unmanned aircraft.

The effort comes as safety concerns about drones have risen after mishaps with military and commercial aircraft, including the first verified collision in North America in Quebec City.


The Canadian Press