Proposed New Drone Rules Would Require Live Location Reporting

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March 1, 2020

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in December proposed a rule that would require all commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) or drones to report their locations while in operation. The proposed rules have logged thousands of comments and hundreds of complaints from professional and hobbyist drone operators since then.

The additional cost of adding a transponder or ID system to drones remains “up in the air.” The FAA has not specified what technology would be used to track UASs except that it will not be the same as transponder systems used on manned aircraft. It is expected that manufacturers would incorporate these systems into new drones, but there was no plan to grandfather in older drones lacking these systems.

The Remote ID rule, according to the FAA, would alert “the FAA, law enforcement, and federal security agencies when a UAS appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where the drone is not allowed to fly.” It would “facilitate the collection and storage of certain data such as identity, location, and altitude regarding an unmanned aircraft and its control station.”

The comment period for the proposed rules was to end March 2.

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