The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that drone pilots who are unable to comply with the broadcast requirement of the Remote ID Rule will now have until March 16, 2024, to equip their aircraft. After that date, operators could face fines and suspension or revocation of pilot certificates.
“In making this decision, the FAA recognizes the unanticipated issues that some operators are experiencing finding some remote identification broadcast modules,” says the FAA in a news statement. “Drone pilots can meet this deadline by purchasing a standard Remote ID equipped drone from a manufacturer or purchasing a Remote ID broadcast module which can be affixed to existing drones that do not have Remote ID equipment.”
But a lack of remote ID transponders – there are, reportedly, just nine companies certified to produce the equipment and they all have production capacity limits – has meant that many US drone operators have been able to access the mandated equipment.
According to a September 2023 open letter to the FAA from Greg Reverdiau, Co-Founder of the Pilot Institute, cataloguing the preparedeness of institute members for abiding by the mandate:
“From the 2,081 responses collected, the results indicate a community partially unprepared for the Remote ID requirements:
- 49% stated they already have a drone equipped with Standard Remote ID.
- 51% revealed a need for at least one Remote ID module.
- 10% said they’d rely on flying a sub-0.55 lbs drone under the recreational exemption.
- 5% would operate only at an FAA Recognized Identification Area (FRIA).”
Greg Reverdiau requested the FAA delay the implementation until March 2024, a measure which the FAA has agreed to.
|Remote ID methods of compliance – FAA
There are three ways drone pilots can meet the identification requirements of the Remote ID rule: