French government outlines proposals for drone e-identification and lights

The French Ministry of the Interior has outlined proposals ( for the equipping of electronic identification beacons and lights for all drones weighing 800g or more. The proposed beacon would use the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi spectrum allocation, WGS84 geodetic coordinates and transmit data via the IEEE 802.11n specification. The message payload would need to be transmitted at a rate of two transmissions every three seconds or less and separated by no more than 30 metres.

The message payload would include:

  • A drone’s manufacturer unique code;
  • The drone’s unique serial number;
  • Latitude, altitude and longitude of its take-off point and actual position;
  • Speed and heading;
  • A message timestamp;

According to a translation of the original text:

“Each manufacturer ensures the uniqueness of the identification number of the reporting device electronic or digital, in particular model and serial number fields, and communicate it the owner of the aircraft flown without any person on board who registers it in accordance with provisions of Article R.114-2 of the Civil Aviation Code.”

Also mandated would be the fitting of a light “of a different colour from those defined for the navigation lights and for the marking of obstacles to air navigation”   visible from 150 metres away and flashing the Morse letter U.

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