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Almost 800,000 U.S. drone owners have registered to fly in 15 months

That’s a lot of drones in our skies.

Drone Photography Raises Questions About Privacy And Safety Brendon Thorne / Getty

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says that more than 770,000 drone owners have registered to fly in U.S. airspace.

That’s up from the 670,000 figure FAA chief Michael Huerta shared during his talk at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the start of 2017. It also means that 100,000 drone owners have newly registered with the agency in less than three months.

The FAA first opened its drone registration system just over 15 months ago, in December 2015. Only weeks after the registration system started operating, the FAA announced that more than 181,000 drone owners had registered in its database.

To put that in perspective, Huerta said last year that the FAA currently counts around 320,000 manned aircraft registered with the agency, but that registration system has been operating for about 100 years. Drones have had registration requirements for not quite two years.

Last week, the FAA said that it projects drone usage to continue to soar. The agency estimates that small, hobbyist drones in use in the U.S. will more than triple in units in the next four years, shooting up from 1.1 million aircraft at the end of 2016 to more than 3.5 million by 2021.

The FAA allows one registration number to be used on multiple drones, which is why the agency counts more drones than it does pilots in its registry.

This article originally appeared on

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