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FAA announces Remote Identification Proposal

On December 26, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on remote identification (Remote ID) for unmanned aircraft systems(drones).

The rule would require UAS to implement Remote ID, which is the ability of an unmanned aircraft in flight to provide certain identification information (e.g., serial number/session identification number) and location information (e.g., altitude), to third parties on the ground or to other airspace users. All drones weighing over 0.55lbs for either hobbyist or commercial purpose will be required to comply with the remote identification. The rule will create three main categories of flight.

“Standard” Remote ID: The drone must broadcast information directly over a radio frequency and transmit over the internet to an FAA monitoring service).

“Limited” Remote ID: The drone must transmit over the internet to an FAA monitoring service, but would not have a broadcast requirement, and must operate within 400 feet of the controller.

FRIA: Operators flying within their visual line of sight and within an FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA) would be exempted from these rules in a third category of permitted operation. The FRIAs are flying sites established within the programming of a community-based organization and recognized by the FAA. Drones that are not otherwise compliant with the first two Remote ID standards would be able to fly at these limited sites. The following diagram explains these flights.

1. These proposals will make every consumer drone out there now, OBSOLETE!

This will require more than likely every drone to have some sort of cellular network built-in. Right now, there is no drone out there with that. My two drones sure don't have it.

2. The cost associated with this new proposal will be heavy!

This means every drone will have a cellular plan as well as the device (cell, tablet) operating it. Rumor also has it, this may require a 5G service. So your old tablets and those cell phones that still operate in 4G or LTE would be useless. I don't know about anyone else, but having two cell phones on one plan is close to a car payment a month. Can't imagine having my two drones, and my tablet under a plan too.

Flying under this proposal is ludicrous. It will prevent a basic real estate job on a medium-size house almost impossible when you can only have the drone 400 feet away from the controller. This is taking this technology and keeping it from flourishing like it has been for the last 5 years.

I have been operating drones for 5 years now. In these five years, I know of only ONE manned aircraft struck by a drone. The incident took place back in September of 2017. An irresponsible drone pilot was flying his drone out of line-of-sight, 2 1/2 miles from the controller and at 547 feet high in New York. The drone struck an Army Blackhawk helicopter which was operating for relief efforts in the area. The drone pilot clearly was not aware of the FAA regulations and the no-fly zone that was in effect. Even though this incident gave a black eye to the drone community, they are few and far between.

I am a firm believer that this remote identification proposal is funded by big corporations, like Amazon. I believe this proposal is strictly to clear the skies for their drone delivery service...PERIOD! There is no epidemic of drone crashes. There is no epidemic of drone-related injuries. There aren't drones flying around peeking into windows at night.

From this point on, we will wait and see how this goes. This proposal is a few years out still. Anything can change. If you want to voice your concern, here is the link to the FAA Federal Register. There, you can leave a public comment on this proposal. Happy Flying, and Happy New Year!

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