WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a proposed rule that would require Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to be identifiable remotely and have their locations known.
“Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and Federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The proposal establishes design and production requirements for two categories of remote identification: standard remote identification UAS and limited remote identification UAS. Standard remote identification UAS would be required to broadcast identification and location information directly from the unmanned aircraft and simultaneously transmit that same information to a Remote ID USS through an internet connection. Limited remote identification UAS would be required to transmit information through the internet only, with no broadcast requirements; however, the unmanned aircraft would be designed to operate no more than 400 feet from the control station. Under this proposal, the vast majority of UAS would be required to comply with one of these two categories of remote identification. For those limited exceptions, which include certain amateur-built UAS and UAS manufactured prior to the compliance date, operators flying UAS without remote identification capabilities would be permitted to fly only at certain specific geographic areas established under this rule specifically to accommodate them.
“As a pilot, my eye is always on safety first,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “Safety is a joint responsibility between government, pilots, the drone community, the general public and many others who make our nation so creative and innovative.”
Drones are a fast-growing segment of the entire transportation sector – nearly 1.5 million drones and 160,000 remote pilots are registered with the FAA. Equipping drones with remote identification technologies would build on previous steps taken by the FAA and the UAS industry to safely integrate operations, including the small UAS rule, which covers drones weighing less than 55 pounds, and the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), which automates the application and approval process for most UAS operators to obtain airspace authorizations.
These efforts lay the foundation for more complex operations, such as those beyond visual line of sight at low altitudes, as the FAA and the drone industry move toward a traffic management ecosystem for UAS flights separate from, but complementary to, the air traffic management system.
The proposed Remote ID rule would apply to all drones that are required to register with the FAA (recreational drones weighing under 0.55 pounds are not required to register), as well as to persons operating foreign civil UAS in the U.S.
Drones that do not have Remote ID implemented three years from rule application will only be allowed to operate in very limited geographic areas.
The FAA will seek input on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Remote Identification (Remote ID) of UAS that today was placed on display at the Federal Register. In the coming days, it will be accompanied by a 60-day comment period to receive public feedback and help the FAA develop a final rule to enhance safety in the skies over the U.S.