US will require drone buyers to register them with Transportation Dept.
A small drone hovers in the sky on Feb. 1, 2014 in Washington (AFP)

The U.S. government will announce a new plan requiring anyone buying a drone to register the device with the Transportation Department, NBC News reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.

The plan, which is expected to be announced within days, is a response to government concerns over the increasing number of close calls between drones and aircraft flying to and from some of the country's biggest airports, NBC News said.

Under the plan, the government will work with the drone industry to set up a structure for registering the unmanned aerial vehicles, and the regulations could be in place by Christmas, the network said.

In June, a small drone flew within a few hundred feet (meters) of a Southwest Airlines flight as the plane was about to land at Dallas' Love Field airport. The plane landed safely.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler)