Remote ID Q & A: Who will enforce Remote ID? When does it become effective? Where is it required? For all of these questions and more, DRONERESPONDERS, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping public safety agencies use drones, has your answers.
The FAA released the long-awaited rule on Remote ID for Drones today. “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,” says the FAA announcement.
“The issuance of the final rule for Remote ID represents a greatly anticipated evolution for increasing public safety surrounding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations,” said Chief Charles Werner (ret.), Director of DRONERESPONDERS, the world’d leading 501(c)3 non-profit program supporting the use of drones by first responders. “Upon final implementation, Remote ID technology will provide law enforcement agencies and security stakeholders with an increased ability to evaluate low altitude UAS traffic within their respective jurisdictions.”
While Remote ID will help move the safe integration of unmanned systems into the airspace forward, stakeholders will have many questions about the details of Remote ID implementation. While addressed to the public safety community, the following Remote ID Q & A answers questions many stakeholders need answered: from how to equip or retrofit existing equipment to what information is made available to the public.
DRONERESPONDERS Q&A on how Remote ID will impact U.S. Public Safety Agencies:
1. What will the requirement be for public safety? Public safety agencies are required to comply with part 89 unless otherwise authorized.
2. How does the FAA or DOJ plan on enforcing RID?
The FAA is responsible for ensuring compliance with part 89. Enforcement of this rule will follow the policies listed in FAA Order 2150.3.
3. When does it become effective?
A person producing a standard Remote ID UA for operation in the National Airspace System must comply with the requirements of the rule no later than 60 days + 18 months from publication.
A person producing a Remote ID broadcast module must comply with the requirements of the rule 60 days from publication.
Operators will be required to comply with Remote ID 60 days + 30 months from publication.
4. Will RID only be required in Controlled Airspace, and other congested areas (Stadium TFR, highly populated urban areas, etc.)? Remote ID is required when operating anywhere in the National Airspace System and not located inside a FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA).
5. Will RID be required for flight below 400ft? Will RID be required in unrestricted airspace? How will RID deter criminals that don’t care about RID?
Remote ID will be required for any UAS (manufactured or home-built) that requires registration and is operating in the National Airspace System (NAS).
Rule-making assumes compliance with the regulations. Those individuals who do not comply will be subject to FAA enforcement action as provided for in FAA Order 2150.3.
6. Can RID be used as a mitigation for flying UAS in an overly restricted TFR (DC FRZ, VIP TFR, etc.)?
It is up to the security agency controlling the TFR to provide authorization for UAS operations and to make a determination on any risk mitigations Remote ID may offer.
7. Will public safety be required to provide RID, especially for sensitive missions?
Public safety agencies are required to comply with the Remote ID rule. There are provisions (under development) that allow for operations without Remote ID when authorized by the Administrator.
8. What is the requirement for existing drones?
All UAS that require registration and are operating in the National Airspace System (NAS) must comply with part 89. For existing drones, this may be accomplished by affixing an approved transmitter to the aircraft and operating as a Broadcast Module Remote ID UAS.
9. How do we retrofit older custom drones to comply? For smaller companies that build their own UAS what’s the procedure?
The person installing the Remote ID broadcast module must perform the retrofit in accordance with the instructions provided by the producer of the Remote ID broadcast module to ensure that the broadcast module is compatible with the UA, that the installation is completed successfully, and that the Remote ID functionality is compliant with all the requirements of this rule.
10. At what point does RID become the manufacturers liability (i.e. from purchase, from registration?)
Manufacturers of Standard Remote ID UAS or Remote ID Broadcast Modules are responsible for ensuring their equipment is in compliance with an FAA-approved Means of Compliance (MOC) and declared in their Declaration of Compliance (DOC).
The operator of a UAS is responsible for ensuring proper Remote ID transmission prior to flight.
11. Will it require some sort of monthly subscription? Cost?
No. Neither Standard Remote ID nor Broadcast Module Remote ID require a subscription service.
12. Will this require network connectivity to achieve?
No. Both Standard Remote ID and Broadcast Module Remote ID will operate on radio frequency spectrums such as WiFi or Bluetooth, transmitted from the UAS or broadcast module itself.
13. How will RID be received by public safety? Is there a cost?
The FAA envisions industry stakeholders will identify the appropriate spectrum to use for Remote ID and would propose solutions through the Means of Compliance (MOC) acceptance process. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure the public has the capability, using existing commonly available and 47 CFR part 15 compliant devices, such as cellular phones, smart devices, tablet computers, or laptop computers, to receive these broadcast messages.
14. What information will be required to be provided? Any exemptions for public safety?
Standard Remote ID:
Identification, location, and performance information for both the UA and the control station
Broadcast Module Remote ID:
Identification, location, and performance information about the UA and the UA’s takeoff location
15. Will personally identifiable information be publicly available for all sUAS operations?
No. Both Remote ID options broadcast either the serial number assigned to the UA or broadcast module, or a session ID.
16. Is operator/pilot location going to be shared with the general public under the packet transmission?
Under Standard Remote ID, the location and elevation of the control station is included in the transmission elements.
Under Remote ID Broadcast Module, the takeoff location and elevation are included in the transmission elements.
Both Standard Remote ID and Broadcast Module Remote ID will operate on radio frequency spectrums such as WiFi or Bluetooth, transmitted from the UAS or broadcast module itself.
17. Is there a way to integrate this RID information into other LE databases?
In addition to aiding the FAA in its civil enforcement of FAA regulations, the FAA anticipates that law enforcement and national security agencies will find remote identification information useful for criminal enforcement, public safety, and security purposes. The FAA envisions pairing remote identification data with certain registration data, when necessary, for accredited and verified law enforcement and Federal security agencies.
18. What about rogue flyers who intend to defy remote id?
Enforcement will follow the policies listed in FAA Order 2150.3.
19. Is there a no RID compliance, no takeoff allowed requirement in place?
Prior to takeoff, the UAS must be checked by the operator to ensure it is transmitting appropriate Remote ID information per part 89.
20. Is there any practical way for hobbyists who build their own RC planes and quadcopters and then prefer to fly them in locations that are not designated as a FRIA zone (i.e. their own property, local parks, schools, federal public lands, etc.) to comply with this rule?
No. Remote ID will be required for any UAS (manufactured or home-built) that requires registration and is operating in the National Airspace System (NAS).
21. Can a city or town create their own FRIA type areas (parks, open space, etc.)?
FRIAs may only be requested by FAA-recognized Community-Based Organizations and educational institutions.
22. Can FPV Remote Pilots fly outside FRIAs?
Remote ID will be required for any UAS (manufactured or home-built) that requires registration and is operating in the National Airspace System (NAS). Operating contrary to part 89 is subject to FAA enforcement action provided for in FAA Order 2150.3.
23.How will RID impact disaster response operations? Disaster response operations may continue as they have in the past. Once Remote ID is in effect, those UAS will need to be equipped in accordance with part 89. Emergency operations/authorizations will still be available through the Special Governmental Issuance (SGI) process.
24. What do organizations supporting public safety UAS operations need to know about RID? Remote ID is mandatory for any UAS that is required to be registered under parts 47 or 48. There are two types of Remote ID transmissions:
Standard Remote ID: Identification, location, and performance information for both the UA and the control station
Broadcast Module Remote ID: Identification, location, and performance information about the UA and the UA’s takeoff location
Remote ID is not an operational rule, it’s an equipment requirement.
Part 89 does allow for operations without Remote ID through specific FAA authorization or an FAA Recognized Identification Area (FRIA).
FAA authorization provision in 89.110 or 89.115 is under process development at this time. More information on this provision will be announced in the coming months
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.