The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Remote ID rule for drones (Part 89) became effective on April 21, 2021. Part 89 will likely increase commercial drone operations while promoting safety and security. With the drone industry predicted to grow to $63.6 billion by 2025 (particularly in agriculture, construction and mining, insurance, telecommunications, and law enforcement), new regulations such as Part 89 are vital to maintaining that momentum.
As I previously wrote, Part 89 includes new operating requirements for drone operators, including a requirement to operate only unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that meet the remote identification design and production standards set out in the rule, and contains three (3) remote identification classifications:
- Standard Remote Identification: Requires the UAS to transmit identification and location information to an FAA-contracted UAS Service Supplier (USS) and locally broadcast that information in unrestricted, unprotected Bluetooth signals. The FAA plans to leverage the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system that it is currently using to provide authorization for drones to fly in restricted airspace.
- Limited Remote Identification: Requires the UAS to transmit identification and location to an FAA-contracted USS only, but is applicable only to visual-line-of-sight operations occurring within 400 feet of the operator.
- No Remote Identification: Drones would not be required to transmit remote identification when operating within an FAA-Recognized Identification area (FRIA), the designation of which can be requested by community-based organizations, such as model aircraft clubs and associations.
The production and design rules are effective as of September 16, 2022 (with a few exceptions). The operational requirements are effective as of September 16, 2023.
While many of these new requirements will mainly affect drone operators, manufacturers will need to take the most action to comply with the production and design rules over the next year. We’ll watch the progress of these rules and the implementation closely over the next few months.