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US Regulators Mandate Remote ID for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

US officials on Thursday proposed new rules that will require the remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The remote ID system is a kind of electronic license plate for drones that the US mandated as part of efforts to ensure the safety of aviation systems.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal, deemed the “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Remote Identification,” would require the privately-operated drones to register with the FAA, that will help them identify potential threats and likely enable security professionals to resolve them. The proposal is now subject to a 60-day comment period to receive public feedback and before a final rule is adopted.

Elaine Chao, US Transportation Secretary, said: “Remote ID technologies will improve safety and security by allowing federal security agencies, FAA, and law enforcement agencies to recognize drones flying in their authority.”

As per the new proposal, the requirement would allow authorities to remotely recognize any drone in real-time and “help government security officials in threat identification—enabling them to identify a drone or UAS operator and settle on an informed decision regarding the need to take right actions to alleviate perceived security or danger.”

The proposal further said that the FAA wanted to be able to take the right actions against activities, for example, the smuggling of illicit drugs or risky substances/chemicals, illegal breach of privacy or unlawful surveillance.

As per the agency, maintaining safety and security is equally important since drones are the fastest-growing segment of the transportation sector and hence they should be safely integrated into the national airspace. There are around 1.5 million drones and 160,000 remote pilots registered with the FAA, which covers drones weighing less than 250 grams (0.55 pounds).

The move comes in the midst of endeavors by both large tech firms, for example, Google parent Alphabet and Amazon as well as new entrants to use drones for the delivery of food, medicinal supplies, and other things.

Chinese drone manufacturer DJI respected the initiative, saying it could enable drones to be used for complex tasks, however, mentioned that it would survey the details.

Brendan Schulman, the Vice President of DJI, said: “For a long time, DJI has advocated for a remote ID system that would ensure the safety, security, integrity, and accountability for authorities.”

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