FAA Drone Pilot CertificateFAA Ends 2020 With Announcement Of Two Major Drone Rules – Transport

June 29, 2021by helo-10
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United States:

FAA Ends 2020 With Announcement Of Two Major Drone Rules


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On December 28, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration
(“FAA”) announced two final rules for Unmanned Aircraft
(“UA” or “drones”): (1) Remote Identification for Unmanned
Aircraft
 (“Remote ID”) and (2) 
Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Over
People
. These rules come at a time when drones
represent the fastest-growing segment in the transportation sector,
with over 1.7 million drone registrations and 203,000
FAA-certificated remote pilots.

Remote ID final rule

The Remote ID rule establishes a new Part 89 to Title 14 of the
Code of Federal Regulations. Under the final rule, which will
become effective 60 days after the publication date in the Federal
Register (expected in January 2021), all UA required to register
must be able to remotely identify themselves while in flight.
Operational rules take effect 30 months after the effective date of
the final rule (expected to be September 2023).

Operators will have three options (outlined below) to satisfy
this requirement. Note, however, that for UA weighing 0.55 lbs or
less, Remote ID is only required if the UA is operated under rules
that require registration, such as part 107.

1. Standard Remote ID Unmanned Aircraft

  • Broadcasts remote ID messages
    directly from the UA via radio frequency broadcast (likely Wi-Fi or
    Bluetooth technology), compatible with existing personal wireless
    services.

  • Standard Remote ID message includes:
    UA ID (serial number of UA or session ID); latitude/longitude,
    altitude, and velocity of UA; latitude/longitude and altitude of
    Control Station; emergency status; and time mark.

  • Remote ID message will be available
    to most personal wireless devices within range of the broadcast;
    however, only the FAA (and authorized law enforcement) will have
    the ability to correlate the serial number or session ID with the
    registration database.

  • Range of the Remote ID broadcast may
    vary, as each UA must be designed to maximize the range at which
    the broadcast can be received.

2. UA with Remote ID Broadcast Module

  • Broadcast Module may be a separate
    device that is attached to an UA, or a feature built into the
    aircraft.

  • Enables retrofit for existing UA, and
    Broadcast Module serial number must be entered into the
    registration record for the UA.

  • Broadcast Module Remote ID message
    includes: serial number of the module; latitude/longitude,
    altitude, and velocity of UA; latitude/longitude and altitude of
    the takeoff location, and time mark.

  • UA remotely identifying with a
    Broadcast Module must be operated within visual line of sight at
    all times.

  • Broadcast Module to broadcast via
    radio frequency (likely Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology).

  • Compatibility with personal wireless
    devices and range of the Remote ID Broadcast Module message similar
    to Standard Remote ID UA (see above).

3. FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (“FRIA”)

  • Geographic areas recognized by the
    FAA where UA not equipped with Remote ID are allowed to fly.

  • Organizations eligible to apply for
    establishment of a FRIA include: community-based organizations
    recognized by the FAA, primary and secondary educational
    institutions, trade schools, colleges and universities.

  • Must operate within visual line of
    sight and only within the boundaries of a FRIA.

  • The FAA will begin accepting
    applications for FRIAs 18 months after the effective date of the
    rule, and applications may be submitted at any time after
    that.

  • FRIA authorizations will be valid for
    48 months, may be renewed, and may be terminated by the FAA for
    safety or security reasons.

Other key provisions in Remote ID final rule

  • Automatic Dependent
    Surveillance-Broadcast (“ADS-B”) Out and Air Traffic
    Control (“ATC”) Transponder Prohibition for UAS

    • The final rule amends Parts 91 and
      107 to prohibit use of ADS-B Out or ATC Transponders on UAS unless
      otherwise authorized by the FAA, or if flying under a flight plan
      and in two-way radio communication with ATC.

    • ADS-B Out & ATC transponder
      authorization is likely for large UAS operating in controlled
      airspace.

    • Part 89 prohibits the use of ADS-B
      Out as a means of meeting Remote ID requirements.


  • Aeronautical Research: The rule
    provides for operators to seek special authorization to operate UA
    without remote identification for the purpose of aeronautical
    research or to show compliance with regulations.

  • Foreign Registered Civil UA Operated
    in United States: The rule allows a UA registered in a foreign
    country to be operated in the United States only if the operator
    files a notice of identification with the FAA. This enables the FAA
    and law enforcement to correlate a remote ID broadcast with a
    person responsible for the operation of a foreign-registered
    UA.

Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”)
Over People Final Rule

The Operation of Small UAS Over People Final Rule, which has
also been sent to the Office of the Federal Register and will
become effective 60 days after the publication date in the Federal
Register (expected in January 2021), amends the existing Part 107
in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations to allow routine
operations over people and routine operations at night under
certain circumstances. The final rule will eliminate the need for
those operations to receive individual Part 107 waivers from the
FAA. Operations are permitted based on four categories, which are based primarily
on the kinetic damage potential of the aircraft
.

The final rule requires that small drone operators have their
remote pilot certificate and identification in their physical
possession, ready for presentation, when operating over people.
This rule also expands the class of authorities who may request
these forms of identification from a remote pilot. The final rule
replaces the requirement to complete a recurrent test every 24
calendar months with the requirement to complete updated
recurrent training that includes operating at night in
identified subject areas. 

Originally Published by Thompson Coburn, January
2021

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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