The aerial drone community is more abuzz than usual with the new FAA rule on UAS Remote Identification. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on March 10 and becomes effective on April 21, 2021. This article updates our July 20, 2020 blog on Remote ID.
Compliance deadlines: September 16, 2022 for manufacturers and September 16, 2023 for operators.
The purpose of Remote identification is to require aerial drones to broadcast their identification and location information. This will help the FAA, law enforcement, and other federal agencies to find the control station when a drone appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or when it enters a location where it’s not allowed to fly.
The FAA’s overview is published at: UAS Remote Identification Overview
The full rule is published at: Federal Register :: Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft
How Do I Meet The New Requirements?
There are three ways for drone pilots to meet the new requirements:
(1) Your drone is classified as a Standard Remote ID Drone. That is, your drone was produced with built-in Remote ID broadcast capability, which includes identification and control station location. See the section below to find out if your drone is already compliant.
(2) Your drone has been fitted with a Remote ID broadcast module, which broadcasts identification and take-off location. Many present aerial drone systems fall into this category.
(3) Your drone won’t need to comply with this new rule. The FAA will only allow the drone to be lawfully operated at FAA-recognized identification areas, which are sponsored by community-based organizations or educational institutions.
What’s All This Broadcast Business?
Remote ID broadcast messages will include:
- A unique identifier for the drone
- The drone’s lat/lon, altitude, and velocity
- The control station’s (or take-off location’s) lat/lon and altitude
- Time mark
- Emergency status (standard drones only, see (1) above)
Presently, small aerial drones are registered at the FAA’s web site “Drone Zone.” This date, I don’t see a section for Remote ID Registration, but expect this will be the place for it.
Many Aerial Drones Are Already Compliant With Remote ID
In anticipation of the FAA’s new rule, some drone manufacturers have already programmed Remote ID into their software. At FAD-Photo, our Mavic 2 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro V2 drones are compliant (or nearly compliant). DJI’s control program, Go 4, has fields to enter Remote ID information, but there’s a question as to whether they’re fully compliant. If not, then we expect the remedy will be a software update.
Check to see if your drone is on the compliant list at Drone U’s web site.
Read what drone manufacturer DJI has to say about Remote Identification at this DroneLife link.
Now that Remote Identification is the law of the land (well, the USA at least) it’s time to start thinking about our compliance deadline of September 16, 2023.