WASHINGTON—The Federal Aviation Administration has set up a committee to devise rules for identifying operating drones.
“The FAA recognizes the potential value remote identification would have to public safety and the safety of the National Airspace System,” the committee charter states. “Accordingly,” it said the committee would “inform the FAA on available technologies for remote identification and tracking, shortfalls in available standards and make recommendations for how remote identification may be implemented.”
The group’s task is to come up with rules for identifying, categorizing and recommending technologies for remotely identifying and tracking drones—with the needs of public safety, law enforcement, national security and air-traffic controllers in mind.
The remote-ID effort is separate from the online drone registration requirement activated by the FAA in 2015 and recently struck down by by a federal court. (See “Court Strikes Down Drone Registration Rule,” May 19, 2017.)
The FAA created the registry on the recommendation of task force that included the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, which objected to the court’s decision. With regard to the remote-ID committee, the AUVSI said, “Developing standards for remotely identifying operators and owners of UAS builds upon earlier registration efforts with real-time tracking of UAS operators. These important security measures will pave the way for expanded UAS operations, including flights over people and beyond-line-of-sight operations.”
AVUSI has issued a call for papers on technologies applicable to remote drone identification.
In addition to the AVUSI, other parties with skin in the game are reflected in the committee membership roster, which includes Qualcomm, Verizon, AT&T, several municipal police departments, Northrup Grumman, drone maker DJI, Globalstar, several pilots’ groups, Intel, The Mitre Corp. among many others.
“Eventually, the recommendations it produces could help pave the way for drone flights over people and beyond visual line of sight,” the FAA said.
The first meeting of the committee took place last week. The meetings are not open to the public. The committee charter runs through Halloween and estimates the government’s cost of the committee to be $2,500.
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