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FAA Issues Final Rule on Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft
3168 7 2020-12-28
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U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Two Much-Anticipated Drone Rules to Advance Safety and Innovation in the United States

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration  (FAA) today announced final rules for Unmanned Aircraft (UA), commonly  known as drones. The new rules will require Remote Identification  (Remote ID) of drones and allow operators of small drones to fly over  people and at night under certain conditions. These rules come at a time  when drones represent the fastest-growing segment in the entire  transportation sector – with currently over 1.7 million drone  registrations and 203,000 FAA-certificated remote pilots.

Remote  ID will help mitigate risks associated with expanded drone operations,  such as flights over people and at night, and both rules support  technological and operational innovation and advancements.

“These  final rules carefully address safety, security and privacy concerns  while advancing opportunities for innovation and utilization of drone  technology,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

Remote ID  is a major step toward the full integration of drones into the national  airspace system. Remote ID provides identification of drones in flight  as well as the location of their control stations, providing crucial  information to our national security agencies and law enforcement  partners, and other officials charged with ensuring public safety.  Airspace awareness reduces the risk of drone interference with other  aircraft and people and property on the ground.

“The issuance of  the final rule for Remote ID represents a greatly anticipated evolution  for increasing public safety surrounding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)  operations,” said Chief Charles Werner (ret.), Director of DRONERESPONDERS,  the world’d leading 501(c)3 non-profit program supporting the use of  drones by first responders.  “Upon final implementation, Remote ID  technology will provide law enforcement agencies and security  stakeholders with an increased ability to evaluate low altitude UAS  traffic within their respective jurisdictions.”

Equipping drones  with Remote ID technology builds on previous steps taken by the FAA and  the drone industry to integrate operations safely into the national  airspace system.Part 107 of the Federal aviation regulations  currently prohibits covered drone operations over people and at night  unless the operator obtains a waiver from the FAA. The new FAA  regulations jointly provide increased flexibility to conduct certain  small UAS without obtaining waiver.

“The new rules make way for  the further integration of drones into our airspace by addressing safety  and security concerns,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “They get  us closer to the day when we will more routinely see drone operations  such as the delivery of packages.”

The Remote ID rule  applies to all operators of drones that require FAA registration. There  are three ways to comply with the operational requirements:
  • Operate a standard Remote ID drone that broadcasts identification and location information of the drone and control station;
  • Operate  a drone with a Remote ID broadcast module (may be a separate device  attached to the drone), which broadcasts identification, location, and  take-off information; or
  • Operate a drone without Remote ID but at specific FAA-recognized identification areas.
The Operations over People and at Night rule  applies to Part 107 operators. The ability to fly over people and  moving vehicles varies depending on the level of risk a small drone  operation presents to people on the ground. Operations are permitted  based on four categories, which can be found in the executive summary accompanying the rule. Additionally, this rule allows for operations at night under certain conditions.

The  final rule requires that small drone operators have their remote pilot  certificate and identification in their physical possession when  operating, ready to present to authorities if needed. This rule also  expands the class of authorities who may request these forms from a  remote pilot. The final rule replaces the requirement to complete a  recurrent test every 24 calendar months with the requirement to complete  updated recurrent training that includes operating at night in  identified subject areas.  

Both rules will become effective 60  days after publication in the Federal Register. The Remote ID rule  includes two compliance dates. Drone manufacturers will have 18 months  to begin producing drones with Remote ID, with operators having an  additional year to start using drones with Remote ID.

How Remote ID will impact U.S. Public Safety Agencies:
  • What will the requirement be for public safety?  
    Public safety agencies are required to comply with part 89 unless otherwise authorized.
  • How does the FAA or DOJ plan on enforcing RID?
    The  FAA is responsible for ensuring compliance with part 89. Enforcement of  this rule will follow the policies listed in FAA Order 2150.3.
  • When does it become effective?
    A  person producing a standard Remote ID UA for operation in the National  Airspace System must comply with the requirements of the rule no later  than 60 days + 18 months from publication.
  • A person producing a Remote ID broadcast module must comply with the requirements of the rule 60 days from publication.
    Operators will be required to comply with Remote ID 60 days + 30 months from publication.
  • Will RID only be required in Controlled Airspace, and other congested areas (Stadium TFR, highly populated urban areas, etc.)?
    Remote  ID is required when operating anywhere in the National Airspace System  and not located inside a FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA).
  • Will  RID be required for flight below 400ft? Will RID be required in  unrestricted airspace? How will RID deter criminals that don't care  about RID?
    Remote ID will be required for any UAS  (manufactured or home-built) that requires registration and is operating  in the National Airspace System (NAS). Rule-making assumes compliance  with the regulations. Those individuals who do not comply will be  subject to FAA enforcement action as provided for in FAA Order 2150.3.
  • Can RID be used as a mitigation for flying UAS in an overly restricted TFR (DC FRZ, VIP TFR, etc.)?
    It  is up to the security agency controlling the TFR to provide  authorization for UAS operations and to make a determination on any risk  mitigations Remote ID may offer.
  • Will public safety be required to provide RID, especially for sensitive missions?
    Public  safety agencies are required to comply with the Remote ID rule. There  are provisions (under development) that allow for operations without  Remote ID when authorized by the Administrator.
  • What is the requirement for existing drones?
    All  UAS that require registration and are operating in the National  Airspace System (NAS) must comply with part 89. For existing drones,  this may be accomplished by affixing an approved transmitter to the  aircraft and operating as a Broadcast Module Remote ID UAS.
  • How do we retrofit older custom drones to comply? For smaller companies that build their own UAS what’s the procedure?
    The  person installing the Remote ID broadcast module must perform the  retrofit in accordance with the instructions provided by the producer of  the Remote ID broadcast module to ensure that the broadcast module is  compatible with the UA, that the installation is completed successfully,  and that the Remote ID functionality is compliant with all the  requirements of this rule.
  • At what point does RID become the manufacturers liability (i.e. from purchase, from registration?)
    Manufacturers  of Standard Remote ID UAS or Remote ID Broadcast Modules are  responsible for ensuring their equipment is in compliance with an  FAA-approved Means of Compliance (MOC) and declared in their Declaration  of Compliance (DOC).  The operator of a UAS is responsible for ensuring  proper Remote ID transmission prior to flight.
  • Will RID require some sort of monthly subscription? Cost?
    No. Neither Standard Remote ID nor Broadcast Module Remote ID require a subscription service.
  • Will this require network connectivity to achieve?
    No.  Both Standard Remote ID and Broadcast Module Remote ID will operate on  radio frequency spectrums such as WiFi or Bluetooth, transmitted from  the UAS or broadcast module itself.
  • How will RID be received by public safety? Is there a cost?
    The  FAA envisions industry stakeholders will identify the appropriate  spectrum to use for Remote ID and would propose solutions through the  Means of Compliance (MOC) acceptance process. The purpose of this  requirement is to ensure the public has the capability, using existing  commonly available and 47 CFR part 15 compliant devices, such as  cellular phones, smart devices, tablet computers, or laptop computers,  to receive these broadcast messages.
  • What information will be required to be provided?
    Standard Remote ID: Identification, location, and performance information for both the UA and the control station.
    Broadcast Module Remote ID: Identification, location, and performance information about the UA and the UA’s takeoff location.
  • Will personally identifiable information be publicly available for all sUAS operations?
    No. Both Remote ID options broadcast either the serial number assigned to the UA or broadcast module, or a session ID.
  • Is operator/pilot location going to be shared with the general public under the packet transmission?
    Under Standard Remote ID, the location and elevation of the control station is included in the transmission elements.
    Under Remote ID Broadcast Module, the takeoff location and elevation are included in the transmission elements.
    Both  Standard Remote ID and Broadcast Module Remote ID will operate on radio  frequency spectrums such as WiFi or Bluetooth, transmitted from the UAS  or broadcast module itself.
  • Is there a way to integrate this RID information into other LE databases?
    In  addition to aiding the FAA in its civil enforcement of FAA regulations,  the FAA anticipates that law enforcement and national security agencies  will find remote identification information useful for criminal  enforcement, public safety, and security purposes. The FAA envisions  pairing remote identification data with certain registration data, when  necessary, for accredited and verified law enforcement and Federal  security agencies.
  • What about rogue flyers who intend to defy RID?
    Enforcement will follow the policies listed in FAA Order 2150.3.
  • Is there a no RID compliance, no takeoff allowed requirement in place?
    Prior  to takeoff, the UAS must be checked by the operator to ensure it is  transmitting appropriate Remote ID information per part 89.
  • Is  there any practical way for hobbyists who build their own RC planes and  quadcopters and then prefer to fly them in locations that are not  designated as a FRIA zone (i.e. their own property, local parks,  schools, federal public lands, etc.) to comply with this rule?
    No.  Remote ID will be required for any UAS (manufactured or home-built)  that requires registration and is operating in the National Airspace  System (NAS).
  • Can a city or town create their own FRIA type areas (parks, open space, etc.)?
    FRIAs may only be requested by FAA-recognized Community-Based Organizations and educational institutions.
  • Can FPV Remote Pilots fly outside FRIAs?
    Remote  ID will be required for any UAS (manufactured or home-built) that  requires registration and is operating in the National Airspace System  (NAS). Operating contrary to part 89 is subject to FAA enforcement  action provided for in FAA Order 2150.3.
  • How will RID impact disaster response operations?
    Disaster  response operations may continue as they have in the past. Once Remote  ID is in effect, those UAS will need to be equipped in accordance with  part 89. Emergency operations/authorizations will still be available  through the Special Governmental Issuance (SGI) process.
  • What do organizations supporting public safety UAS operations need to know about RID?
    Remote  ID is mandatory for any UAS that is required to be registered under  parts 47 or 48. There are two types of Remote ID transmissions:
    Standard Remote ID: Identification, location, and performance information for both the UA and the control station.
    Broadcast Module Remote ID: Identification, location, and performance information about the UA and the UA’s takeoff location.
    Remote ID is not an operational rule, it’s an equipment requirement.
    Part  89 does allow for operations without Remote ID through specific FAA  authorization or an FAA Recognized Identification Area (FRIA).
    FAA  authorization provision in 89.110 or 89.115 is under process development  at this time. More information on this provision will be announced in  the coming months.

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Flight distance : 5907336 ft
United Kingdom

Thanks for sharing.
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Second Officer
Flight distance : 211919 ft
United Kingdom

Hi, cheers for sharing, quite an interesting read.
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United States

Awesome reading! I am sure there is more to come from DJI and FAA
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United States

I have a Mavic Air 2.  Will more than a firmware change be required to meet the new rule?
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United States

Bought the Mavic Air 2]Drone For Sale
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United States

This will require more than a firmware upgrade. I haven't yet heard any regards to distance that the transmission has to travel. Bluetooth might do the trick. But they might find a way to piggy back on the 5.8 GHz video band.

I came in here to see what DJI might be up to, to meet the requirements of the FAA requirements. Will DJI provide a retrofit for drones that are a few years old like my Mavic Air 2.
Use props
Flight distance : 359619 ft
United States

Hi, Good morning!
I always fly over the bay waters. The only area that is clear of tall buildings where I live.  Is there a way to set a " LOW ALTITUDE WARNING" on the Mavic air 2 or any other Mavic drone?

I get very distracted and lost altitude moving the left joystick, not trying to lower the altitude but rotating it. Sometimes I forget to look at the altitude for a long time.    A "LOW ALTITUDE or Terrain  WARNING" would be life-saving.

The idea is to increase altitude if I get below 5 or 10 meters without realizing I did. To prevent getting submerged in the water.   I already lost 2 drones on the Bay. I know where they are, but I can't retrieve them.

I can't believe there are so many warnings except a low-altitude one. All commercial airplanes have several "LOW TERRAIN WARNINGS" at different altitudes.

Could you please; contact DJI engineers and bring the idea?

I am still a novice, and I am even learning to speak English. I dont know how to do it by myself.  The warning will bring more safety and joy to the flying experience and would be a very substantial safety improvement for everybody.

Lesmex F
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