FAA May Soon Require in-Flight Remote Drone Identification
Recent efforts by the FAA of creating a national drone registry have failed. Now, the agency has another idea.
In an era where anyone can buy a drone, strap something harmful to it, and fly it anonymously through the skies, law enforcement, property owners, and private citizens are keen on implementing certain safety regulations. Mainly, knowing who is behind the proverbial wheel of any given drone. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA's) most recent idea is to remotely identify drones in-flight, as opposed to requiring registration before or after purchasing a drone.
According to Recode, the FAA held its first meeting regarding this issue last week, with Amazon, Ford, and New York Police Department (NYPD) employees in attendance. Among the talking points that comprised the meeting where various approaches to current remote identification models, general air traffic control, the hearing from the NYPD regarding their main concerns.
Now, most drones that weigh over .5lbs have a registration number on them, but it's not like the police can identify a moving UAV whizzing overhead. To add to that, the FAA's failure at creating a national database of drone operators has put a halt to all new drones being registered. This is why the FAA and other entities such as the aforementioned groups want to know who is behind any given drone in the sky at one time. Remote identification will allow for these various entities—such as the NYPD—to do so.
From corporations infusing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into their business models to hobbyists being offered more and more affordable drone options, the presence of UAVs above our heads will only be increasing as time goes on. That's why the FAA wanted to have a cohesive drone registry for all operators, and why the White House recently invited executives of some of the biggest corporations in the drone industry for a meeting.
Drones have smuggled drugs into prisons, impeded firefighters from battling forest fires, and been the cause of a slew of other negative events across the country. It's important to know who's behind a drone, just as it's important to know who owns the car that crashed into you. It may seem nefarious, for government and police forces to know where your drone is at all times, but like every politicized common practice, we'll have to argue back and forth until an agreeable compromise and middle ground is found. For now, the FAA is keen on identifying your drone remotely.
The agency's "Drone ID Aviation Rule Committee" is scheduled to meet on July 18-19, according to a press release. We'll have more answers for you then. Stay tuned.