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FAA's Recommendations for Tracking Drones



The FAA has announced a new report and recommendations to the ARC in order to identify and track drones that are in flight. Recently there have been many issues regarding drone flying, and many cities are retaliating with new rules and regulations. Take Laguna Beach for example. Drones are banned flying over parks and beaches, unless a person has an FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot Certificate. According to the FAA website (faa.gov), the highlighted recommendations are as followed:


· The FAA should consider two methods for remote ID and tracking of drones: direct broadcast (transmitting data in one direction only with no specific destination or recipient) and (2) network publishing (transmitting data to an internet service or group of services). Both methods would send the data to an FAA-approved internet-based database.

· The data collected must include a unique identifier for unmanned aircraft, tracking information, and drone owner and remote pilot identification.

· The FAA should promote fast-tracked development of industry standards while a final remote ID and tracking rule is developed, potentially offering incentives for early adoption and relying on educational initiatives to pave the way to the implementation of the rule.

· The FAA should implement a rule in three stages, with an ultimate goal that all drones manufactured or sold within the United States that comply with the rule must be so labeled. The agency should allow a reasonable grace period to retrofit drones manufactured or sold before the final rule is effective.

· The FAA should coordinate any ID and tracking system with the existing air traffic control system and ensure it does not substantially increase workloads.

· The FAA should exempt drones operating under air traffic control or those operating under the agency’s discretion (public aircraft operations, security or defense operations, or with a waiver).

· The FAA must review privacy considerations, in consultation with privacy experts and other Federal agencies, including developing a secure system that allows for segmented access to the ID and tracking information. Within the system, only persons authorized by the FAA (e.g., law enforcement officials, airspace management officials, etc.) would be able to access personally identifiable information.


From the looks of it, many of these recommendations are for protection of the drone operators and also the public. Companies like DJI are also getting in the mix, releasing a statement that states “DJI supports many of the conclusions in the ARC report, understanding that its limited purpose was to describe the needs of security and law enforcement agencies and to recommend the technologies that could meet those needs,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President for Policy and Legal Affairs, who represented DJI on the ARC. “There is still an important discussion to come about how to balance governmental needs and desires with the burdens, costs, and privacy invasions that could be faced by drone pilots depending on the actual technologies chosen and how they are implemented. Drone pilots and operators were not well-represented in terms of the number of ARC members, and we feel their interests will be expressed in the future rule-making process that lies ahead.”


Very interesting things are happening in the world of drones, and this is just the beginning of many new rules and regulations being placed on drone operators.


Just in case you are bored out of your mind and would like to see the 213 paged ARC Recommendations report from the FAA because you have nothing better to do with your life, you can see it here: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/committees/documents/media/UAS%20ID%20ARC%20Final%20Report%20with%20Appendices.pdf

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