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Drone Remote ID becomes law

tahoejeff

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So I'll have to buy an add on device for my Spark for remote ID?


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 (PDF) 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.


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 (PDF) applies to all operators of drones that require FAA registration. There are three ways to comply with the operational requirements:


1. Operate a standard Remote ID drone that broadcasts identification and location information of the drone and control station;


2. 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


3. Operate a drone without Remote ID but at specific FAA-recognized identification areas.


The Operations Over People and at Night rule (PDF) 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 (PDF) 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.
 

sparkey44

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It appears that only drones that require FAA registration must have remote ID. That would eliminate drones weighing less than 250 gr. ie mini 2.
 
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tahoejeff

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Read an article on this today that brings up 2 questions. First, here's the article: FAA Publishes Final Drone Rules: Remote ID Now Required

Any guesses as to what this would mean? Saying remote ID not required:
at specific FAA-recognized identification area

2nd question: I like what I'm reading here, but I thought I read that this applies to all drones licensed with the FAA. See this quote from the story:
As a reminder, if you fly only for fun or recreation, you do not need a Part 107 license. The newly-finalized rules only apply to those flying for commercial purposes.
 

SirThomas

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Read an article on this today that brings up 2 questions. First, here's the article: FAA Publishes Final Drone Rules: Remote ID Now Required

Any guesses as to what this would mean? Saying remote ID not required:
at specific FAA-recognized identification area

2nd question: I like what I'm reading here, but I thought I read that this applies to all drones licensed with the FAA. See this quote from the story:
As a reminder, if you fly only for fun or recreation, you do not need a Part 107 license. The newly-finalized rules only apply to those flying for commercial purposes.

FAA-recognized areas will be model club flying locations and others that "community groups" (i.e. schools, model clubs, etc.) apply to the FAA to have their area designated. The FAA will maintain a database of those areas and you'll be able to look them up at the FAA's website.

The comment response was 400+ pages, so I wasn't able in my quick read to determine how this affects recreational-only pilots.
 
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graywoulf

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Does this apply to drones as in multi-rotor aircraft only? Or would this also apply to my home built foam fixed wing planes as well?
 
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SirThomas

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Does this apply to drones as in multi-rotor aircraft only? Or would this also apply to my home built foam fixed wing planes as well?

Good question. The best I could find (disclaimer: I'm not an authority of any type on the rules) was that your home-built plane would fall under the definition of a home-built aircraft. The below seems to address this, and implies to me that yes, it would require a remote ID module be attached if flown in the general airspace. It would not require one if it is flown in a designated ("FAA-recognized identification area) area such as a model club or RC club's flying field (assuming the club applies to the FAA to have their flying field designated as a FAA-recognized identification area).

From page 46 of the Final Rule discussion:
Comments: Many commenters expressed concern that the proposed definition of amateur-built unmanned aircraft would prohibit them from flying their existing model aircraft. FAA Response: The FAA does not agree. Unmanned aircraft produced without remote identification (e.g., those produced prior to the production compliance date of this rule) may be flown in an FAA-recognized identification area or may be upgraded or retrofitted to meet the remote identification requirements of this rule. FAA has also amended the final rule to allow for less costly compliance by allowing unmanned aircraft to be equipped with a remote identification broadcast module

And from page 85:
Remote identification broadcast modules allow operators of unmanned aircraft without remote identification (e.g., existing unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft excepted under § 89.501(c) from the design and production requirements of this rule) to operate outside of an FAA-recognized identification area. For example, a home-built unmanned aircraft can be produced without remote identification and can be operated without remote identification in an FAA-recognized identification area. However, if an operator wishes to operate a home-built unmanned aircraft outside of an FAA-recognized identification area, he or she can do so by equipping the unmanned aircraft with a remote identification broadcast module.
 
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graywoulf

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Thank you for that information. So, even my Spark is going to need one of these modules I guess. I guess that depending on how the modules work and their price, I will be putting up my two Sparks for sale soon. 😞
 

SirThomas

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Thank you for that information. So, even my Spark is going to need one of these modules I guess. I guess that depending on how the modules work and their price, I will be putting up my two Sparks for sale soon. 😞

I think it depends upon whether DJI can implement the Remote ID requirement with the existing hardware or not. If they can, it will just be a firmware upgrade. Best to stay tuned to DJI communications and see what they say. In any case, we'll still have 2.5 years to fly 'em before they have to transmit the Remote ID. So, no need to sell 'em any time soon due to this rule.
 

graywoulf

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I think it depends upon whether DJI can implement the Remote ID requirement with the existing hardware or not. If they can, it will just be a firmware upgrade. Best to stay tuned to DJI communications and see what they say. In any case, we'll still have 2.5 years to fly 'em before they have to transmit the Remote ID. So, no need to sell 'em any time soon due to this rule.

Good point. I doubt though that DJI is going to make any upgrades to the Spark since it is a discontinued model. I have to wonder if the new MM2 has the module built in. I have not looked at the specs on it.
 

Mtntrogger

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Good point. I doubt though that DJI is going to make any upgrades to the Spark since it is a discontinued model. I have to wonder if the new MM2 has the module built in. I have not looked at the specs on it.
In the DJI response yesterday they specifically stated that this could be done via firmware update. Nobody **** their pants just yet ! Also like mentioned above, we got 2/12 years to make the compliance. Many good flights ahead for us spark pilots. Maybe I will consider whatever current generation of mini is out in 2223, if we still have to worry about it at that point.
 
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graywoulf

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So, am I understanding correctly that any RC aircraft under 250 grams is exempt from the RID rules? 🤔
 

NOLADG

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I think it depends upon whether DJI can implement the Remote ID requirement with the existing hardware or not. If they can, it will just be a firmware upgrade.
I know the DJI Go 4 app currently has this feature and is supported on my Mavic Air, but not the Spark. It seems as though very little is needed though to make this work as the app already knows your location and the drones location and potentially has an internet connection.
 

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