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Remote ID for Industry and Standards Bodies

The FAA is dedicated to safely integrating drones into the airspace and enable technology advancements that continue to lay the foundation for more complex operations. Remote identification (remote ID) is an essential component to accelerating innovation in the drone community and improving the safety of the national airspace.

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.

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) has been submitted to the Federal Register for publication.

There are three ways drone pilots can meet the identification requirements of the remote ID rule:

  1. Operate a Standard Remote ID Drone (PDF) that broadcasts identification and location information of the drone and control station. A Standard Remote ID Drone is one that is produced with built-in remote ID broadcast capabilities.
  2. Operate a drone with a remote ID broadcast module (PDF) giving the drone's identification, location, and take-off information. A broadcast module is a device that can be attached to a drone, or a feature (such as a software upgrade) integrated with the drone. Persons operating a drone with a remote ID broadcast module must be able to see their drone at all times during flight.
  3. Operate (without remote ID equipment) (PDF) at specific FAA-recognized identification areas (FRIAs) maintained by community-based organizations or educational institutions. FRIAs are the only locations unmanned aircraft (drones and radio-controlled model airplanes) may operate without broadcasting remote ID message elements.

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

When Must Drone Manufacturers Comply With the Rule?

Drone manufacturers have until 18 months after the rule's effective date to comply with the final rule, which gives manufacturers sufficient time to produce drones with built-in standard remote ID. The FAA also encourages the early production of remote ID broadcast modules.

Standard Remote ID Drones and remote ID broadcast modules must be designed and produced to meet the requirements of this rule. Drone technology is continually evolving, making it necessary to harmonize new regulatory action with technological advancements. To promote this harmonization, the FAA is implementing performance-based requirements to describe the desired outcomes, goals, and results for remote ID without establishing a specific means or process for regulated entities to follow.

Changes From the NPRM

Following public comments and technical challenges, the FAA decided to eliminate the NPRM "Limited Remote Identification UAS" category to transmit remote ID messages through an internet connection to a third-party service provider remote ID UAS Service Supplier. This option has been replaced by the remote ID broadcast module option that allows for retrofit of existing drones.

Other changes from the NPRM to the final rule include:

Manufacturing Requirement NPRM Final Rule
Remote ID Broadcast Module N/A Performance requirements added for the retrofit module – similar to requirements for standard, but no take-off restriction
Process for certificated aircraft Every drone went through Declaration of Compliance (DOC) process Part 21 certificated aircraft must be standard remote ID drone and/or ADS-B Out equipped, compliance with Means of Compliance (MOC)/Performance requirements determined during certification process
Manufacturing compliance date 24 months after the rule's effective date 18 months after the rule's effective date
Operational compliance date 36 months after the rule's effective date 30 months after the rule's effective date

Declaration of Compliance

A declaration of compliance is a record submitted to the FAA by the producer of a Standard Remote ID Drone or remote ID broadcast module to attest that all production requirements of the final rule have been met. The final rule establishes minimum performance requirements describing the desired outcomes, goals, and results for remote ID without establishing a specific means or process.

The final rule requires drones and remote ID broadcast modules manufactured for operation in US airspace, regardless of where the module or drone is manufactured, to meet the performance requirements for a Standard Remote ID Unmanned Aircraft or remote ID broadcast module. Manufacturers will produce drones and broadcast modules that meet these performance requirements by following an FAA-accepted means of compliance. See below for information on FAA-accepted Means of Compliance.

Manufacturers of remote ID broadcast modules and most producers of Standard Remote ID Drones are then required to file a "declaration of compliance" with the FAA stating that their product meets the remote ID performance requirements and has been produced using an FAA-accepted means of compliance. Manufacturers of Standard Remote ID Drones who are seeking a design or production approval under part 21 will show compliance with the remote ID requirements through that process rather than filing a declaration of compliance.

The FAA has developed an advisory circular on the declaration of compliance process for remote ID of drones. This advisory circular provides guidance on the declaration of compliance process described in part 89, and outlines the required information for submitting a declaration of compliance.

Also, producers of a kit that contains all of the parts and instructions necessary for a drone must meet the production requirements of the remote ID rule and submit a declaration of compliance. The person that puts together a "kit" drone does not need to submit a declaration of compliance if they are building it for their own recreation or education but must still meet the operational requirements of the remote ID rule when flying it.

Means of Compliance

A person designing or producing a Standard Remote ID drone or broadcast module for operation in US airspace must show that they have met the requirements of the remote ID rule by following an FAA-accepted means of compliance. A means of compliance describes the methods by which the person complies with the performance-based requirements for remote ID.

It's important to note that producers do not need to develop and submit their own means of compliance for FAA acceptance. They can use any means of compliance accepted by the FAA, including one developed by a third party.

How to Submit a Means of Compliance

A means of compliance describes how a manufacturer may comply with the performance requirements for a Standard Remote ID Drone or a remote ID broadcast module. Anyone may submit a means of compliance for FAA evaluation and possible acceptance. In particular, the FAA encourages consensus standards bodies to develop means of compliance and submit them for acceptance because these bodies generally incorporate openness, balance, due process, appeals process, and peer review.

However, FAA-accepted consensus standards are just one way, but not the only way, to show compliance with the performance requirements of this rule. The FAA emphasizes that although a means of compliance developed by a consensus standards body may be available, any individual or organization can submit its own means of compliance for consideration and potential acceptance.

The remote ID rule describes the requirements for a means of compliance and the FAA is publishing an advisory circular on the Means of Compliance Process for Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft that provides further guidance on the process. The advisory circular addresses the process and information that must be submitted and will be available in the public docket for the final rule.

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This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/remote_id/industry/