New rules requiring the remote identification (Remote ID) of unmanned aircraft and permitting small drones to be flown over people and at night under specified conditions were issued yesterday by the FAA. They are viewed as a significant precedent for how U.S. regulators might treat autonomous operations by larger aircraft.
The Remote ID rule mainly applies to all operators of drones that require FAA registration and weighing more than 0.55 pounds. There are three ways to comply: broadcast ID and location information of the drone and its control station; use a Remote ID broadcast module; or operate without Remote ID but only in specific FAA-recognized identification areas. Manufacturers will have 18 months to begin producing drones with Remote ID and operators will have an additional year to start using drones with Remote ID.
Meanwhile, the rule allowing operations over people and at night applies to Part 107 operators of drones weighing less than 55 pounds. The newly permitted flights have to meet the requirements of one of four new operational categories—three based on the risk of injury to people on the ground and the fourth conditional on the aircraft having an airworthiness certificate. Flights over open-air assemblies are not allowed unless the operator meets Remote ID requirements.
Both new rules will go into force 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register.
This story is from FutureFlight.aero, a resource developed by AIN to provide objective, independent coverage and analysis of new aviation technology, including electric aircraft developments and advanced air mobility.