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safety first

FAA launches drone safety program

Drones are on lots of people's Christmas lists this year. With models available for only a couple hundred dollars, a million drones have already been sold worldwide. And industry officials are getting concerned.

Government officials believe that more amateur fliers will lead to more encounters between small drones (which look just like other model aircraft) and manned aircraft.

"Many of these operators have no aviation history, background, or knowledge," said Margaret Gilligan, the Federal Aviation Association's (FAA) associate administrator for safety. "They think they just bought something fun that they just want to fly around. They don't for a moment think, 'I'm entering the national airspace system.'"

According to AP, drone industry officials and model aircraft hobbyists are teaming up with the FAA to launch a safety campaign to "advise both recreational and commercial drone operators of FAA regulations and how to fly their aircraft safely." So before taking your new drone out for a Christmas spin, check their helpful reference website, www.knowbeforeyoufly.com.