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Many of the provisions that the Experimental Aircraft Association recommended to proposals to integrate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system were included in the final Remote ID rule that was unveiled on Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration. EAA-recommended provisions were designed to protect EAA members engaged in both manned aircraft and traditional model aircraft operations.
The Remote ID rule will formally begin on February 28, 2021, with many aspects that do not become effective for as long as 18 to 30 months after the February 28 effective date.
“There are many provisions in the initial Remote ID proposal that EAA believed were unacceptable and we are pleased to see that many of our comments were incorporated in the final rule,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “As with any rule, it is not perfect, but EAA feels that the rule is far more workable as a result of the FAA’s consideration of the more than 50,000 comments it received. This includes our foundational principles that any Remote ID rule ensured that manned aircraft continue to have unfettered access to the airspace system, no new regulatory burdens would be placed on manned aircraft operations, and no new equipment would be mandated for manned aircraft as part of this rule.”
EAA’s comments to the Notice of Proposal Rulemaking (NPRM) were highlighted in several areas of the new rule. Those included EAA exclusive comments and those made in concert with other associations involved in traditional model aviation and UAS operations, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
For those involved in model aircraft and UAS operations, there are provisions that require identification to meet national security and law enforcement requirements as mandated by Congress. Those include:
- Standard Remote ID – This includes a transponder in new products, installed by the manufacturer, beginning no later than February 28, 2022. The signal will include the serial number of the product.
- Broadcast module – This option, likely to be used by many individuals, allows a small, inexpensive module to be moved between aircraft and UAS, with a single registration required by the owner for all of the units that may use the module.
- Flying at an approved, registered flying site – For traditional model aircraft operators who fly only at a single site, such as a club flying field, no transponder would be required although registration is still mandated.
“AMA deserves a great deal of credit for its tremendous work over the past year on this issue and EAA was pleased to work with them in many areas where it made a difference in the final rule,” Elliott said. “The rule came a long way from the original proposal. That is a credit to everyone who took the time to comment and bring forth ideas to make UAS integration and the economic benefits that come with it possible without creating new burdens upon the traditional model community or manned aviation.”
EAA will continue to monitor the implementation of the Remote ID rule to ensure against unexpected developments that would be harmful to recreational aviation.