FAA Introduces New Remote ID Rule for Drones

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FAA Introduces New Remote ID Rule for Drones

The United States of America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released its final ruling on the Remote Identification (RID) for Drones. In a 470 page document, the FAA stipulates the new 'final' rule on RID, the requirements to be compliant and any exceptions to the rule. This article will try to break down the new rule to understand what it is and its implications.
DJI-M300-FEDS-Drone
What is the Rule?
Similar to vehicles on the road fitted with license plates; the FAA will now require drones to have a 'digital' license plate. Besides just a unique identifier, RID would also have to broadcast information from take-off to shutdown that people on the ground and air can receive.

In matters of law and legality, it is always advisable to refer to the source directly. Read it from the FAA website here.


When does it come into effect?
There is a lot of time before the FAA will enforce this rule; Manufacturers have 18 months to ensure drones being produced are compliant. While operators or pilots have 30 months to fly a drone with a RID, fit an older drone with a broadcast module or fly in designated areas where RID is not required.


What information should the drone broadcast?
From the time of take-off to shut down, the following information should be broadcasted:-
  • Unique identifier for the drone
  • The drone's latitude, longitude, altitude and velocity
  • Control station or take-off location's latitude, longitude and altitude
  • A time mark
  • Emergency status


Why is this rule being introduced?
The FAA and other law enforcement officials can use the RID to track drones that fly unsafely. The RID will also enable officials to find the operators of said drones as well. Its a matter of increasing drone accountability and as a result boosting public safety and security.


The question that remains-

The main question for those of us not residing in the USA is if and when regulatory bodies from other countries will follow suit. The ruling does not have a definitive positive or negative reception among drone manufacturers; the industry seems to be divided on the issue so far. While the response from DJI is positive, other companies like Google's Wing are apprehensive expressing unintended privacy impacts.

It now boils down to how the FAA will implement it and if other regulatory bodies will follow. If they do, do they try to improve on what the FAA has ruled or will they pursue a different route in the interest of public safety and security? Only time will tell.
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Niiveth Mani

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