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FAA administrator Steve Dickson updates drone industry on Remote ID and more

FAA administrator Steve Dickson updates drone industry on Remote ID and more

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated the drone industry on Remote ID for Drones, the UAS IPP, and upcoming regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) during a recent speech posted online.

FAA administrator Steve Dickson updates drone industry on Remote ID and more

FAA administrator, Steve Dickson went to YouTube to provide an update to drone pilots on the state of the industry.  While the speech was mostly focused on how drone delivery is helping the economy, a few updates provided meaningful insight to drone pilots. Most notable, Mr. Dickson provided an update to Remote ID.

During the speech, Mr. Dickson stated that drone pilots should be expecting a final ruling on numerous updates by the end of the year. The FAA announced Remote ID at the end of last year, actually on December 26th, 2020. The day after Christmas. While this government tactic has been known for years, pilots hope the FAA will use discretion when they choose to post the updates.

What are these updates from the FAA?  While some of the updates are positive, most of the updates showcase a negative outcome for commercial and hobby drone pilots. While the announcement from the FAA went largely unnoticed, there are clear hints dropped throughout the video.

Good News:

The FAA’s mission to create a safe national airspace. The agency is clearly focused on integrating drones safely into the airspace. In an effort to further expand drone operations, the FAA will be announcing new rules and protocols for flight over people. The FAA stated they want to ensure more routine flights over people and even at night.

Administrator Steve Dickson also hinted that the FAA would be publishing a new rule regarding beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). While this has many drone pilots excited, it hasn’t made any waves in the communities or forums.

Bad News:

Drone pilots would have to pay close attention to this speech as the FAA was very careful to plan this message out.  Drone pilots may not be happy to hear the emphasis of the entire speech is drone delivery. Paying attention to the speech we hear FAA administrator say,”

 “Drones will provide identification and location information that can be received by the FAA, law enforcement and anyone with a smart phone.”

What does this short statement mean for drone pilots?  When Remote ID comes in 2021, the public will be able to see drones and who is flying. This is terrible if not awful news for drone pilots who are fearful of being accosted by privacy advocates.

Steve Dickson stated the FAA would role out a digital license plate with Remote ID. This comparison is not legitimate in any sense and paints a false picture. A license plate gives drivers privacy from other drivers with the license plate. It is not possible to pull up the name and address of the guy who cut you off. When the FAA allows the public to view pilot information and location, bad things are going to happen. Even Drone U noted the question of the legality of collecting this information over a cellular network, as the United States just clarified this is a 4th amendment violation.

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