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FAA Remote ID NPRM- What Does It Say?

By: Propel RC
Updated On: May 7, 2022

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently in the proposal stage with a bill that will require all drones, and possibly most other unmanned aircraft (UA), to be identifiable by law enforcement.

The identifier is intended to resolve issues with tracking and apprehending unauthorized UA operators who violate restricted airspace or fly over private property, especially when engaging in malicious or unsafe activities.

Many in the drone community are concerned that this bill will lead to expensive regulatory burdens and ineffective tracking of aircraft while simultaneously doing little to resolve the problems outlined by the FAA.

Industry experts generally agree that the bill will not prevent future malicious or dangerous incidents, especially when it comes to flying over private property.

Currently, the FAA has proposed requiring that all UAS over 0.55 lbs be registered with the agency using a unique identification number. The Remote ID NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) was issued on April 27th and was open for public comment until July 27th, 2016.

Many industry experts believe that this requirement will frustrate consumers and drone pilots since it is likely to drive up the cost of drones.

Additionally, some fear that these requirements will make some drones illegal if they do not meet the stricter registration guidelines proposed by the FAA.

The NPRM does state that those who wish to operate unmanned aircraft as part of a business may be able to apply for an FAA exemption, which comes along with its own set of rules and regulations.

This is intended to exempt businesses (including nonprofit organizations) that benefit public safety or in research related to science and engineering.

It is important to realize that this NPRM is an early draft, so the language will likely be different once it becomes law.

READ: HOW TO FLY A DRONE AT NIGHT IN USA? | FAA GUIDELINES

What is Remote ID?

The Remote ID is an early draft of a bill that will require all drones over 0.55 lbs, and possibly most other unmanned aircraft (UA), to be identifiable by law enforcement.

FAA Remote ID

This would allow law enforcement to determine who was flying the drone at any given time during an incident or investigation without having to contact the manufacturer or ask for help from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) registry of small unmanned aircraft.

This will release the burden of compliance off of drone manufacturers and onto individual owners.

Which drones are covered by Remote ID?

The proposed bill includes all consumer drones that weigh more than 0.55 lbs and do not meet the additional qualifications for a waiver or exemption from the FAA.

These additional qualifications include:

  • For "government public safety agency."
  • To support science and engineering research.
  • For military operation
  • For an organized race
  • By A film crew for producing a "bona fide motion picture."
  • To take aerial photographs or videos for commercial purposes.
FAA Remote ID

This means that the following drones will be subject to this rule:

  • All DJI products (Phantom 3 Standard, Phantom 4 Pro)
  • Most Parrot and Yuneec drones (Parrot Disco, Bebop 2; Yuneec Breeze)
  • Other UAs, such as those from Walkera and others that do not meet the qualifications for an exemption.

Information Sent By My UAS With The Remote ID

The Remote ID specifically states that only the following information may be transmitted with the Remote ID:

  • The UA's FAA registration number
  • Manufacturer name or designee name
  • Model number
  • A serial number of the UA.
FAA Remote ID

This means that an owner will not have to disclose any personal information, including his/her name, address, or other contact information.

Where UAS Transmitted Information Goes?

The information transmitted by your UAS will go to the remote pilot in command. This person is responsible for ensuring that the flight stays within the guidelines of 14 CFR 107.41, which states that the UA must remain within the visual line of sight of its pilot.

FAA Remote ID

This means that the owner of the drone will only be responsible for supplying the information in question, and that information will go directly to him/her.

What does the term “Session ID” mean?

The Remote ID uses the term "session ID" to describe a unique identifier that is assigned to each flight by the remote pilot in command.

This means that each drone flight will have a unique identification number stored in the pilot's flight logs and can be viewed with the Remote ID.

FAA Remote ID

It is important to note that the remote pilot in command must retain these logs for at least 12 months.

This means that it will be easier for law enforcement to find the information they need as opposed to sifting through a registry of all drones flown by all manufacturers.

Is All Remote ID information available to the public?

The FAA stated in the Remote ID that it does not plan to release any of the information collected through the Remote ID to the public.

This includes any information collected through the flight logs, session IDs, or other information. The FAA has stated that this information will be kept private and used only by law enforcement in the case of a mishap.

FAA Remote ID

However, while this information may not be made public, we do not know if it will be shared between various governmental agencies and departments, such as the Department of Homeland Security and other similar organizations.

These institutions could share or use this information to help them enforce laws against privacy violations.

How Can My Drone Be Given Remote ID capabilities?

The FAA does not require manufacturers to provide Remote ID capabilities, but they allow for it. This means that manufacturers will have the option of providing any technology necessary to create a system through which flight information can be transmitted with each flight or periodically through pre-programmed data updates.

This means that if you purchase a new drone, it may not immediately be capable of transmitting remote ID information.

FAA Remote ID NPRM

You can apply to the FAA for a waiver that will allow you to fly under the current regulations until and if your UAS is equipped with Remote ID capabilities.

This means that all drones used before these laws could potentially continue to use them in the future, so long as they are not involved in an accident or incident that would require the information to be supplied retrospectively.

This means that you will have to keep track of your drone's location and flights at all times until it is equipped with Remote ID capabilities so that you can supply this information if necessary.

What will be the cost?

The FAA states that the cost of implementing this plan will be minimal. Savings will offset the cost of these regulations garnered through increased productivity.

This means that your drone's price is not likely to increase due to this new law.

FAA Remote ID NPRM

However, if you operate a commercial UAS and fly without a waiver, you will have to abide by the full set of laws from 14 CFR part 107.

It means that your costs may increase significantly. When these costs are added up, they will likely be more costly than the minimal cost of Remote ID compliance.

How Do I Find Out If My Drone Has Remote ID Capabilities?

The drone manufacturer must provide you with the necessary information about whether your drone or any future drones it manufactures will include or be able to transmit Remote ID capabilities.

FAA Remote ID

Suppose you are considering purchasing a new drone. In that case, it is important to ask the manufacturers about Remote ID and what steps they have taken to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

If they have taken no steps, you should consider buying a drone from a different manufacturer.

What Happens If My Drone Does Not Have Remote ID Capabilities?

The FAA has stated that it will not approve waivers for drones that do not meet the new safety requirements.

If you are caught flying without Remote ID capabilities, you could be fined under Federal Regulations 14 CFR part 91.

FAA Remote ID

This means that your drone must be equipped with remote ID technology before flying or risk a hefty fine if you fly without it.

If you are still interested in the hobby, it is advisable to wait until your drone's manufacturer has updated their product line with Remote ID capabilities.

Alternatively, you may want to purchase a secondhand model as long as it meets the current requirements.

What Distance Can My UAS Fly With A Restricted Remote ID?

According to the FAA, you will be able to fly your drone up to 500 feet (152 m) from where it is controlled. However, you can request a waiver that allows for increased distance.

This means that if the manufacturer-installed Remote ID capabilities and adhered to the minimum requirements of each flight under 14 CFR part 107 rules, you could fly as far as you want.

FAA Remote ID

This means that it is important to find out what measures the manufacturers have taken before choosing whether to buy a drone with limited Remote ID capabilities.

You may be required to fly much closer than 500 ft if you purchase a new drone and don't apply for a waiver.

What Happens If There is poor Internet Connectivity In My Destination?

If you are flying in a spot with poor network connectivity, the controlling drone must have an alternative Self-ID solution that meets the current Remote ID requirements.

FAA Remote ID

This means that when you are considering buying a new drone, it is important to ask the manufacturer how they plan to meet this requirement.

If they fail to provide an effective solution, you should look for a drone from a different manufacturer.

Are The Remote ID Requirements Applicable To Recreational UAS Pilots?

The FAA has stated that all UAS pilots are subject to the same set of rules, including Remote ID requirements.

If you are flying for fun or recreation, you must abide by the full set of regulations under 14 CFR part 107.

FAA Remote ID

This means that if you have a drone with Remote ID capabilities, the minimum requirements of each flight must be adhered to at all times.

If your drone adheres to the full set of regulations under 14 CFR part 107, you should be able to fly as far away from where you control your drone as you want.

Do Recreational Drone Pilots Have To Register Each UAS Individually?

If you fly for fun or recreation, there is no longer a need to register each of your UASs. However, the Remote ID requirements still apply and must be adhered to at all times.

FAA Remote ID

This means that if you have a drone with Remote ID capabilities, it is important to remember that you stay within the minimum requirements of each flight.

Alternatively, you may want to wait until your drone's manufacturer has updated their product line with Remote ID capabilities before flying again.

How Likely Is It That The FAA Will Make Major Changes To The NPRM Before The Final Issue?

The FAA has made clear that it will continue to review all public comments before issuing the rule's final version. However, the FAA has stated that they are unlikely to make any changes before publishing the final edition of the rule.

Unless there is an unexpected change in events, you can expect to see many manufacturers upgrade their product line with Remote ID capabilities before Christmas.

If you are buying a new drone, it is important to ask the manufacturer whether they have updated their product line with Remote ID capabilities before purchasing. If they have not, you may want to wait until the new rules take effect before flying again.

How can I send my comments and suggestions to the FAA?

You can send your comments through any of the following means:

  • Email to NPRM Comment@faa.gov
  • Fax to (202) 267-9682
  • Mail to Docket Operations (M-30), Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20590
FAA Remote ID

The FAA encourages you to send your comments as soon as possible.

This means that if you have a drone, now is the time to ask the manufacturer whether they have updated their product line with Remote ID capabilities before flying again.

Conclusion

While the FAA has placed a lot of focus on Remote ID as an industry requirement, it is important to remember that many recreational pilots will be subjected to these new rules.

If you have a drone with Remote ID capabilities, it is important to ask the manufacturer whether they have updated their product line with Remote ID capabilities before flying again.

On the other hand, if you are buying a new drone, consider waiting until it is equipped with Remote ID capabilities before flying again.

Unless there is an unexpected change in events, you should see many manufacturers upgrade their product line with Remote ID capabilities before Christmas.

The FAA has made clear that they will continue to review all public comments before issuing the rule's final version.

However, unless there is an unexpected change in events, you can expect to see many manufacturers upgrade their product line with Remote ID capabilities.

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