What is Remote ID? The Multi-Front Approach to Airspace Security

Aerial Armor

Drones have changed the face of the aviation industry. Technology once relegated to the defense industry on one end of the spectrum, and enterprising hobbyists on the other end, has matured into a viable, full-spectrum market with numerous commercial applications. By the end of 2021, the compound annual growth rate for commercial drone shipments is expected to balloon to 51%.

With a diverse array of industries such as law enforcement, construction, retail delivery, and farming, local skies have become a busy place. Increased oversight and additional safety measures have become a modern-day necessity, sending entities like the Federal Aviation Administration scrambling for solutions. One such result? Remote ID.

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All About Remote ID

Ground-based traffic works on the premise that law enforcement, individual drivers, insurance companies, and local governments can all identify who's driving. It lends enforceability to the laws that govern our roadways. With low-altitude skyways becoming packed with commercial drones, the same level of oversight has become necessary. The problem is that commercial and recreational drones don't have license plates. The FAA's Remote ID rule seeks to change that.

What is Remote ID?

Remote ID is an identifying digital signal that the majority of US-based drones are required to broadcast while in flight. That signal will contain various identifying information including drone identification, location, altitude, velocity, control station location & elevation, time mark & emergency status. The intent of Remote ID is to install a safety apparatus for the increasingly busy metropolitan skyway.

When Does Remote ID Take Effect?

The FAA’s Remote ID rule officially took effect on April 21, 2021. Manufacturers and producers of drones must comply with the final rule’s requirement by September 16, 2022, and commercial & recreational UAS drone pilots must meet one of three ways to comply with the rule by September 16, 2023.

The FAA began work on the Remote ID final rule back in 2019, soliciting feedback from industry professionals and interested parties nationwide. After collecting feedback and making all the necessary amendments, the final rule was published in the Federal Register in January of 2021. While the original effective date was set for early March, after a series of corrections, the Remote ID rule officially went into effect on April 21, 2021.

Do Drones Need Remote ID?

Per the FAA, drone manufacturers have until September 16, 2022, to comply with the final rule and produce drones with built-in standard remote ID. If you’re worried your current drone doesn't support Remote ID, you will still be able to operate your drone without complying until September 16, 2023. After which, you’ll need to either:

  1. Ensure your drone has Remote ID capability built into the drone (broadcasting ID, location & altitude, velocity, control station location & elevation, time mark, and emergency status)
  2. Attach a Remote ID module to the drone which broadcasts the same data listed above from takeoff to touchdown & only operate your drone within visual line of sight
  3. Operate your non-remote ID drone at a designated FAA-recognized identification area (FRIA) which is sponsored by community-based organizations or schools.

Which DJI Drones Have Remote ID?

Nearly every DJI drone on the market already has some compatibility with Remote ID, meaning the drone broadcasts most of the data required by the FAA (location, model & serial number, altitude, controller location, etc). But some of the technical aspects are still in development. 

Will Remote ID Replace Current Drone Detection Technology?

Remote ID is a significant step towards establishing a more secure framework for drone operation, but it's far from a catch-all. In reality, Remote ID is just one component of a multifaceted approach toward keeping low-altitude aviation lanes clear and safe. Despite the best in governmental intentions, Remote ID is not a standalone solution.

Think about it in terms of ground-based transportation. Every vehicle is required to have a license plate, registration documents, and insurance. While those policies help keep the majority of drivers compliant with greater rules and regulations, they don't deter 100% of criminal behavior and illegality. Police are still necessary to curb the tendencies of more aggressive drivers. The same is happening in the sky.

While Remote ID is "required" in a statutory sense, nefarious operators have already found ways to bypass the regulation and shut off their Remote ID signal. A deeper, more robust approach is necessary.

Will Aerial Armor Integrate With Remote ID?

Aerial Armor is proud to be an integral part of multi-modal airspace security. Remote ID is a significant policy step toward safer, more regulated airways, but it's one piece in a much larger puzzle. Aerial Armor's products and services offer the perfect complement to emerging identification technology.

As Remote ID functions come online across the industry, it will be fully integrated into our product lineup. In turn, our selection of DJI AeroScope sensors serve as the perfect companion technology to Remote ID resources. The two technologies work together in tandem to keep busy skyways safe and running smoothly.  

To find out more about Aerial Armor's services and product lineup, please reach out to us today for a consultation.

Did Remote ID Pass?

The FAA regulations concerning Remote ID did pass and took effect on April 21, 2021. As stated earlier, manufacturers and producers of drones must comply with the final rule’s requirement by September 16, 2022, and commercial & recreational UAS drone pilots must meet one of three ways to comply with the rule by September 16, 2023.

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