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FAA Proposes Electronic ID System For Drones



The Federal Aviation Administration has issued proposed regulations for remote identification of drones in the U.S. They are claiming it to be the “next exciting step in safe drone integration” and help in identifying some 1.5 million drones currently registered with the governmental body.

“Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and federal security agencies to identify drones in their jurisdiction”, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement. “Drones are the fastest-growing segment of transportation in our nation and it is vitally important that they are safely integrated into the national airspace.”

The FAA established a registration system for recreational drones back in 2015 after which nearly 1.5 million drones and 1,60,000 remote pilots have registered. This year, the agency set up an automated system for authorization of recreational flights in controlled airspace.

The draft reads-

This is an important building block in the unmanned traffic management ecosystem. For example, the ability to identify and locate UAS operating in the airspace of the United States provides additional situational awareness to manned and unmanned aircraft. This will become even more important as the number of UAS operations in all classes of airspace increases. In addition, the ability to identify and locate UAS provides critical information to law enforcement and other officials charged with ensuring public safety.

The new proposed Remote ID system will be built upon the earlier works. The drone manufacturers will now have to make their products capable of sending out identification codes as well as their location. The specified rules will be applicable to all drones heavier than 0.55 pounds (8.8 ounces) and manufacturers would have to comply two years after the regulations are in effect. Drone operators would have a period of three years to phase out non-complying devices.

Drone maker DJI said it’s “currently reviewing” the proposal, through the drone giant noted the implementation of its own Aerospace remote SD technology some two years ago. “DJI has long advocated for a Remote Identification system that would provide safety, security and accountability for authorities” VP Brendan Schulman said. “As we review the FAA’s proposal, we will be guided by the principle, recognized by the FAA’s own Aviation Rulemaking Committee in 2017, that Remote Identification will not be successful if the burdens and costs to drone operators are not minimized.”

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