FAA Gets Proposal For Drone Tracking

The Federal Aviation Administration has just received the report on technologies available to identify and track drones in flight.

The 74-member Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) chartered by the FAA in June has submitted its report

The committee comprised members from the aviation community and industry member organizations, law enforcement agencies and public safety organizations, manufacturers, researchers and standards entities involved with UAS.

Although some recommendations were not unanimous, the group reached general agreement on most. Highlights of the recommendations include:

  • 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 network publishing. 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 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.
  • 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.

The FAA is expected to use the data and recommendations to craft a proposed rule for public comment.

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