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22 April 2021
URL: http://www.kingcorn.org/news/articles_21/RemoteID_0422.html

New FAA Rules on Remote ID for Drones

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
Email address: rnielsen at purdue.edu
Twitter: @PurdueCornGuy


Here's a FAQ page that answers some questions about FAA's new regulations regarding remote identification for drones that took effect yesterday. The rule affects drones that weigh more than 0.55 lbs or any drone flown under Part 107 activities.


The good news is that drones currently in your possession won't have to comply with the new regulations until September 16, 2023.  Drone manufacturers do not have to comply until September 16, 2022. This means that drones you currently own and ones you purchase between now and then will likely NOT have built-in remote ID and you will have to equip them with after-market remote ID modules by September 16, 2023. I do not know whether after-market kits are yet available.

Technically, you will be able to legally fly a drone not equipped with Remote ID after that date. However, you will be restricted to "FAA-Recognized Identification Areas" (FRIAs) that are sponsored by local organizations or educational institutions. However, that option is clearly not viable if you need to fly outside of those areas.

In a recent blog by DJI, their VP of policy and legal affairs hints that some of their current drones might simply require a software update, yet to be developed, to utilize existing radio hardware in the drones. I suspect, for example, this might include the DJI Matrice 200 and the Mavic 2 Pro models, but probably not the Phantom 4 Pro model.