As drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) continue to revolutionize the aviation industry, understanding the FAA Part 107 regulations and the upcoming Remote ID system is crucial for all drone operators. It’s not just about compliance; it’s about embracing the future of unmanned aviation and ensuring safety and security for everyone involved.
The ABCs of FAA Part 107 Regulations
FAA Part 107 regulations govern the registration, airman certification, and operation of civil small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) within the United States. These regulations apply to small unmanned aircraft, which are defined as unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds on takeoff, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft.
It’s important to understand these regulations to ensure safe and efficient operation of your drone. Furthermore, any fraudulent or intentionally false record or report required by these regulations can lead to denial of a remote pilot certificate or a certificate of waiver, denial of a declaration of compliance, or even a civil penalty.
The Upcoming Remote ID System
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is introducing the Remote ID system as a crucial component of their efforts to fully integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). Remote ID is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that can be received by other parties. It aims to enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and other federal agencies to find the control station when a drone appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where it’s not allowed to fly.
The Final Rule on Remote ID
According to the final rule on Remote ID, most drones operating in US airspace will be required to have Remote ID capability. This will provide information about drones in flight, such as the identity, location, and altitude of the drone and its control station or take-off location. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2021, with an original effective date of March 16, 2021.
How Drone Pilots Can Comply with the Remote ID Rule
Drone pilots have three ways to meet the identification requirements of the Remote ID rule:
- Operate a Standard Remote ID Drone: This type of drone has built-in remote ID broadcast capability that broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its control station.
- Operate a drone with a remote ID broadcast module: This is a device that can be added to a drone to retrofit it with remote ID capability. It broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its take-off location.
- Operate at FAA-recognized identification areas (FRIAs): These are locations where drones may operate without broadcasting remote ID message elements.
All drone pilots required to register their UAS must operate their aircraft in accordance with the final rule on remote ID beginning September 16, 2023.
What Information Will be Broadcast?
Whether using a Standard Remote ID Drone or a remote ID broadcast module, the following message elements must be transmitted from take-off to shutdown:
- A unique identifier for the drone
- The drone’s latitude, longitude, geometric altitude, and velocity
- The latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of control station or take-off location
- A time mark
- Emergency status (Standard Remote ID Drone only)
Embrace the Future
The introduction of the Remote ID system is a significant milestone in the integration of dronesinto the National Airspace System. By adhering to the FAA Part 107 regulations and preparing for the upcoming Remote ID system, drone operators not only ensure compliance but also contribute to the safety and security of the airspace. These regulations and systems set the groundwork for more complex drone operations in the future.
Drone manufacturers have until September 16, 2022, to comply with the final rule’s requirements. By September 16, 2023, all drone pilots must meet the operating requirements of the Remote ID system. For most operators, this will mean flying a Standard Remote ID Drone, equipping with a broadcast module, or flying at a FRIA.
As we prepare for these changes, let’s continue to embrace the exciting possibilities that drones offer. From aerial photography to package delivery, drones are making our lives more convenient and efficient. And with these new rules and systems, we are one step closer to a safer and more secure airspace.