AUVSI “disappointed” by delay to FAA drone identification rule

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced a further delay to the introduction of rules relating to remote identification of drones due to be imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Remote Identification of UAS has been postponed to 20 December 2019, with the comment period ending on 1 February 2020, and another for flights over critical infrastructure pushed back to September 2020. The proposed Remote ID rule by the FAA was anticipated for release in September. No reason is provided in the DOT notice.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) issued a statement on 6 September from its President and CEO Brian Wayne: “It’s disappointing the rulemaking for remote identification has been delayed again. The need for remote identification cannot be overstated, as the advancement of the UAS industry depends on identifying and tracking UAS flying in the airspace. Remote ID is necessary for enabling advanced and expanded operations such as flights over people and beyond line of sight, which will provide significant benefits throughout our economy and society. Most importantly, remote ID is critical for ensuring airspace safety by helping law enforcement identify and distinguish authorized UAS from those that may pose a security threat. We urge the FAA to move as quickly as possible with rulemaking for remote identification to keep the skies safe for all aircraft – both manned and unmanned.”

AUVSI also notes the publication of a proposal for regulation to establish criteria and procedures for operators and owners of eligible fixed site facilities to apply to the FAA for a UAS-specific flight restrictions has been moved up to October 2019 from its original release date of March 2020. The proposal is also known as the Section 2209 rule in reference to the part of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 in which Congress directed the FAA to start the application process to restrict flights over sites the agency determines as critical infrastructure.

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