Following EPIC’s Recommendations, FAA Launches Rulemaking for Remote Drone ID
December 31, 2019
Five years after EPIC first recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration establish drone identification rules "similar to the Automated Identification System for commercial vessels,” the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed regulations that would require nearly all drones in U.S. airspace to be remotely identifiable. Drones would be required to transmit their location and identification details to an online FAA tracking system. Drones flying more than 400 feet from their operators would also be required to broadcast location and ID to surrounding areas. In 2015, EPIC wrote “Drones should be required to broadcast their registration information to allow members of the public and law enforcement officials to easily identify the operator and responsible party.” EPIC further stated any drone operating in the national airspace system include a mandatory GPS tracking feature that would always broadcast the location of a drone when aloft (latitude, longitude, and altitude), course, speed over ground, as well as owner identifying information and contact information.” The European Union’s drone regulations incorporate these recommendations. Comments on the FAA proposed rule are due March 2, 2020.