All registered drones flying in the US will be required to have a remote identification system under a new rule proposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
The US government says the Remote ID technologies will enhance safety by allowing the FAA, law enforcement and federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction.
It is also another step in the process of safely integrating drones into the wider airspace and the development of more advanced capabilities such as detect-and-avoid capabilities or aircraft-to-aircraft communications.
This includes the use of drones for commercial operations such as package deliveries.
The explosion in the number of drones has been a global phenomenon and in the US there are now almost 1.5 million of the devices registered with the FAA.
The proposed Remote ID rule would apply to all drones except recreational drones weighing less than 0.55 pounds, which are not required to register, as well as anyone operating a foreign drone in the US.
The limited exceptions, such as amateur-built drones and those manufactured before the compliance date, would be permitted to fly without remote ID only in certain areas specifically set up for them.
The FAA proposes a three-year transition period which would stipulate that no unmanned aerial system that is not compliant with the ID requirements could be produced for operation in the US after two years or operated after three years.
There would be two categories of remote identification — standard and limited.
Standard remote ID drones would be required to broadcast identification and location information directly from the unmanned aircraft and simultaneously transmit that same information to a Remote ID UAS Service Supplier through an internet connection.
Limited remote identification UAS would be required to transmit information through the internet only, with no broadcast requirements, but will be those designed to operate no more than 400 feet from the control station.
“As a pilot, my eye is always on safety first FAA administrator Steve Dickson said in the announcement.
“Safety is a joint responsibility between government, pilots, the drone community, the general public and many others who make our nation so creative and innovative.”