I am sure you have heard on the news or read on the internet something about the FAA requirement for your drone to have Remote ID activated.
What is Remote ID?
Remote Identification, or Remote ID, is a wireless number plate to identify nearby drones. It contains essential information like operator, purpose, and current position. Most importantly, the EU and USA are planning new rules that make so-called direct or broadcast Remote ID mandatory for drones over 250 grams of weight. The Remote ID information that drones broadcast can be used by the general public law enforcement and drones themselves to give better awareness of the airspace around them.
1. Do you need to get your Remote ID now?
Yes, As of
September 16, 2023 March 16th, 2024, you must fly drones weighing above 250g with Remote ID in the USA.
Manufacturers of drones are required to sell drones equipped with remote ID modules by 18 months from publication, or September 16, 2022. You can purchase a drone with remote ID capability before that date, but that’s when drone manufacturers must only sell drones equipped with remote ID.
The remote ID regulation kicks in for operators on
September 16, 2023, March 16th, 2024. FAA just announced this on September 13th, 2023, about the six-month extension. If you plan to continue operating a drone that does not have a built-in remote ID module, you will have to retrofit your drone with a transmission module by this date. Or buy a new drone that has a built-in remote ID.
2. Are all registered drones required to have Remote ID?
Remote ID is not just something for the professionals. It’s required for anyone operating a drone that fits in the category requiring registration.
You don’t need to register if your drone weighs less than 0.55 lbs (250g). That also means your drone doesn’t need a remote ID.
If your drone weighs between 0.55 and 55 lbs, it must be registered with the FAA. If it has to be registered, it also has to have a remote ID. For recreational flyers, one registration can cover multiple drones, and the same registration number applies to all drones flown by that individual. The same approach applies to a retrofitted remote ID transmitter. For example, if you have three drones registered to your name, you can use one transmitter between them.
However, for part 107 registered flyer, you are required to have separate Remote ID for each individual drone.
3. How do I comply with this new requirement?
There are a couple of options that are available to you to be in compliance with FAA in the USA.
The simplest option is to buy a drone that has Remote ID capability built into it. Read More on the list of drones with Remote ID built in.
However, if you have already invested thousands of dollars into your arsenal of drones. Don’t Worry!! You can still operate drones that don’t have a built-in Remote ID by retrofitting them with a remote ID transmitter. The transmitter uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals to transmit location and drone identification information to relevant parties nearby. Read More on the list of Remote ID transmitters available for purchase.
This is the loophole in the remote ID rule. If you want to fly a drone without remote ID, either built-in or retrofitted, you can still fly, but only in an FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA). Drones can be flown in FRIAs without broadcasting an ID, operate in a visual line of sight, and stay within FRIA boundaries. Anyone can use these spaces, but they can only be set up by community-based organizations or educational institutions. You can’t just designate one in your backyard.
4. Benefits of Remote ID
With the Remote ID requirement, there are number of benefits as a result of the new regulation
- Remote ID is not applicable for indoor flight
- You don’t need an internet connection to transmit a Remote ID
- Night flying
- Until now, it has been limited to recreational flyers and part 107 licensed drone pilots with night-time operations waivers from the FAA. Under the new rules, all pilots can fly at night without a waiver.
- Flight over people and moving vehicles
- We will be allowed in certain situations to fly over people and moving vehicles.
- Part 107 training
- New Requirements have now changed to only require you to complete online training as a means of keeping your license current.
- New categorization of drones
- Category 1 for those weighing less than 250g and don’t need to be registered and have a remote ID
- Category 2 and 3 for those weighing more than 250g.
- Visual line of sight
- One of the big implications of remote ID is that drones can now legally be operated on a larger scale beyond visual line of sight, because they are transmitting their location information to other aircraft.
5. Your Privacy
This topic is up for debate as some would argue that the privacy concerns of those on the ground outweigh the privacy concerns of drone pilots. Currently, anyone on the ground can download an app that can read the Remote ID of any nearby drones, and they can read the drone’s location and the drone pilot’s remote control.
The rule is effective March 16, 2021.
Compliance with forward-fit regulations §§ 89.510 and 89.515 are required by Sept.16, 2022.
Compliance with retrofit regulations in §§ 89.105, 89.110, and 89.115 are required by Sept. 16, 2023.
I am currently working on documenting someone with a Remote ID as to how much data is provided to someone with a downloaded drone tracking app.