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United States Department of TransportationUnited States Department of Transportation

Remote ID for FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs)

Drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are fundamentally changing aviation, and the FAA is committed to working to fully integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). Safety and security are top priorities for the FAA and remote identification (remote ID) of drones is crucial to our integration efforts.

What is Remote ID?

Remote ID is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that can be received by other parties.

Why Do We Need Remote ID?

Remote ID helps the FAA, law enforcement, and other federal agencies find the control station when a drone appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where it is not allowed to fly. Remote ID also lays the foundation of the safety and security groundwork needed for more complex drone operations.

Final Rule on Remote ID

The final rule on remote ID will require most drones operating in US airspace to have remote ID capability. Remote ID will provide information about drones in flight, such as the identity, location, and altitude of the drone and its control station or take-off location. Authorized individuals from public safety organizations may request identity of the drone's owner from the FAA.

The FAA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems was published on December 31, 2019. The FAA received over 53,000 comments on the NPRM during the 60-day comment period following publication. The FAA reviewed all of the comments and considered them when writing the final rule. The final rule (PDF) was published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2021. Corrections made to the rule and published in the Federal Register on March 10, 2021 delayed the effective date to April 21, 2021.

Most of the final rule becomes effective on April 21, 2021. The subpart covering the process for FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA) applications from community-based organizations and educational institutions becomes effective September 16, 2022. There are three ways drone pilots will be able to meet the identification requirements of the remote ID rule:

  1. Operate a Standard Remote ID Drone (PDF) that broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its control station. A Standard Remote ID Drone is one that is produced with built-in remote ID broadcast capability in accordance with the remote ID rule's requirements.
  2. Operate a drone with a remote ID broadcast module (PDF). A broadcast module is a device that broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its take-off location in accordance with the remote ID rule's requirements. The broadcast module can be added to a drone to retrofit it with remote ID capability. Persons operating a drone with a remote ID broadcast module must be able to see their drone at all times during flight.
  3. Operate a drone not equipped with remote ID at a FRIA (PDF). FRIAs are the only locations unmanned aircraft (drones and radio-controlled model airplanes) may operate without broadcasting remote ID message elements without other authorization from the FAA.

3 Ways Drone Pilots Can Meet Remote ID Rule

Drone Remote Identification

Standard Remote
ID Drones

Drone Broadcasts Remote ID
Info. Via Radio Frequency.
e.g. Wifi & Bluetooth

  • Remote ID capability is built into the drone
  • From takeoff to shutdown, drone broadcasts:
    • Drone ID
    • Drone location and altitude
    • Drone velocity
    • Control station location and elevation
    • Time mark
    • Emergency status

Drone Remote Identification

Drones With Remote ID
Broadcast Module

Drone Broadcasts Remote ID
Info. Via Radio Frequency.
e.g. Wifi & Bluetooth

  • Remote ID capability through module attached to drone
  • Limited to visual line of sight operations
  • From takeoff to shutdown, drone broadcasts:
    • Drone ID
    • Drone location and altitude
    • Drone velocity
    • Takeoff location and elevation
    • Time mark

FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA)

Drones Without Remote ID

  • Drones without Remote ID can operate without broadcasting
  • Drones without Remote ID must operate within visual line of sight and within the FRIA
  • Anyone can fly there, but FRIAs can only be requested by community-based organizations and educational institutions

What is a FRIA?

The FAA has determined there is a need for a space for unmanned aircraft (drones and radio-controlled model airplanes) without remote ID to continue to operate. These spaces, known as FRIAs, are locations where an unmanned aircraft may operate without remote ID. FAA-recognized community-based organizations and educational institutions (see below) are eligible to apply to the FAA for FRIA status.

A FRIA is a defined geographic area and both the unmanned aircraft and the person operating it must be located within the FRIA's boundaries throughout the operation. In addition, the person operating the unmanned aircraft must be able to see it at all times throughout the operation.

For information about the application review criteria, an advisory circular on FRIAs will be made available prior to the effective date of the FRIA provisions (September 16, 2022).

If FRIA status is granted, it is valid for 48 calendar months after the date of approval. To renew the FRIA, the holder must submit a request for renewal no later than 120 days before the expiration date. Any change of a FRIA's geographic boundaries must be sent to the FAA for review.

Applicants may re-apply for an area that has expired or been voluntarily terminated. The FAA envisions that the re-application process will be the same as the process for new applications, as the renewal would be evaluated against the same criteria as new applications.

The FAA will maintain a list of FAA-recognized identification areas at https://www.faa.gov.

Changes from the NPRM for Requesting a FRIA

The FAA revised the final rule to expand the scope of eligibility to apply for and operate a FRIA. In the NPRM, eligibility was limited to FAA-recognized community-based organizations. In the final rule, the FAA recognized the need for educational institutions to be able to conduct unmanned aircraft activities and has expanded the list of those eligible to request establishment of a FRIA to include educational institutions, including primary and secondary schools, trade schools, colleges, and universities. This approach will better accommodate science, technology, engineering, and math programs and encourage participation in aviation for educational purposes.

A second change concerns the application period. In the NPRM, there was a one-time, 12-month period beginning on the rule's effective date and once that 12-month period had expired, the FAA would no longer accept applications for FRIA designation. Under the final rule, the application period opens 20 months after the rule is published in the Federal Register and there is no deadline for filing applications. The application process is being developed and will be published before the application period opens (September 16, 2022).

In addition, under the NPRM, if the holder of a FRIA terminated the site prior to the expiration date, that site would no longer be eligible to be an FRIA in the future. The final rule removes this restriction and allows voluntarily terminated FRIAs to be submitted for re-establishment.

The proposed rule also included the restriction that once a FRIA had expired, it could not be re-established. The final rule removes that restriction.

Effective Dates

Most of the final rule on remote ID becomes effective April 21, 2021. The subpart covering the process for FRIA applications from community-based organizations and educational institutions becomes effective September 16, 2022.

Other dates of note:

  • September 16, 2022:
    • Drone manufacturers must comply with applicable final rule requirements.
  • September 16, 2023:
    • All drone pilots must meet the operating requirements of part 89. For most operators this will mean flying a Standard Remote ID Drone, equipping with a broadcast module, or flying at a FRIA.

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