Recently, the FAA released the Remote ID Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), a system by which law enforcement, public safety officials, and the general public can identify drone operators flying in US airspace. Remote ID is seen by many as a crucial step toward a robust regulatory framework. The rule will require most drones to transmit information which identifies them to other aircraft and people on the ground. Among this information is the location of the drone and its control station, a time stamp, and the drone’s emergency status. The information will help law enforcement quickly track down bad actors with malicious intent, as well as help aircraft with situation awareness of other aircraft. Notably, since the pilot in command (PIC) is required to remain at its control station for the duration of the flight, the control station’s location would also provide the whereabouts of the flight operator.
UAS operators must meet requirements in one of three ways:
Under these requirements, the vast majority of commercial drone flights must maintain a persistent internet connection to travel beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The operators would need a data plan in place for each drone and a subscription with a USS (an FAA-approved service supplier).
The proposed rule will take three years to become fully effective, and in two years, every drone in the US must be manufactured with these capabilities. The FAA is currently in a 60-day comment period, and industry stakeholders are encouraged to submit feedback before March 2, 2020.
Airspace Link understands the purpose of the proposed rule for Remote ID, as it opens the door to expanding the billion-dollar commercial drone economy for the communities in which we live. Our products, services and business model align with the proposed rules, and Remote ID implementation will be cheap (or even free) for most drone operators with Airspace Link’s software.
One concern is the length of the implementation period. This could slow the progression of benefits that widespread adoption of drones will bring, including safety and humanitarian uses. But since our solutions are foundational in nature, we help state and local governments, businesses and citizens future-proof their communities. We are implementing the groundwork today, not three years from now.
We look forward to continuing our work with the federal government to continue integrating drones into the National Airspace System and your community.