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FAA Plans Remote ID for UAS Operating in Nat’l Airspace

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The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking public input on a proposed rule to mandate remote identification for unmanned aerial systems seeking airspace authorizations.

FAA said Thursday the rule covers drones that weigh more than 0.55 pounds as well as operators of foreign civil UAS. The policy will not apply to recreational drones or small UAS that fall below the designated weight class.

The agency noted that the rule will support the development of policies for more complex UAS operations such as beyond-visual-line-of-sight flights. The rule will also help FAA in its efforts to establish an air traffic management system for UAS.

FAA’s previously launched efforts to safely integrate small UAS into the national airspace and automate the authorization process for UAS operators.

Elaine Chao, secretary of the Department of Transportation, said remote ID technologies can help “enhance safety and security” by allowing the FAA as well as federal and other law enforcement authorities to identify drones flying within their jurisdiction.

There are currently 1.5 million drones and around 160,000 pilots registered with the FAA, according to the agency.

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