New FAA Rules on Remote ID and What They Mean for Drone Educators and Drones in Schools

On December 28th, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration passed The Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Final Rule, which states: After September 16, 2023, no person may operate an unmanned aircraft within the United States’ airspace unless the operation meets the remote identification requirement.

The remote ID requirement allows other airspace users and people on the ground to receive certain identification, location and performance information from drones in flight. Additionally, remote ID provides specific, real-time location information of a drone within the airspace to the FAA, law enforcement entities, national security agencies and other government officials.

PCS Edventures is providing this update to all our Discover Drones customers to notify you of the latest changes regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules for remote ID that may impact your instruction practices. You may view the entire 124-page document, published on January 15, 2021, by clicking HERE for more information.

Remote ID Basics

Remote ID will allow government and civilian entities to identify all drone pilots’ location and flight information operating in the public airspace. This will provide real-time flight data, including the pilot’s location on the ground to ensure accountability by removing anonymity. The rule is intended to address safety, national security and law enforcement concerns regarding further integration of these aircraft into the United States’ airspace. In short, the main reason the FAA is implementing the new rule is for law enforcement purposes.

There are three ways drone pilots can meet the identification requirements of the remote ID rule, which can be reviewed on the FAA’s website by clicking HERE.

  1. Operate a standard remote ID drone that transmits the identification and position of the drone and its control location.
  2. Operate a drone with a remote ID broadcast module that is added to the drone for remote ID capability.
  3. Operate the drone without remote ID equipment at FRIAs (FAA-recognized identification areas) sponsored by educational institutions and community-based organizations.

For Discover Drones users, compliance with identification requirements is found in the second and third options of the remote ID rule: Operate a drone with a remote ID broadcast module, or operate your drones at FAA-recognized identification areas (FRIAs) sponsored by community-based organizations or educational institutions.

Operating a Drone with a Remote ID Broadcast Module

The FAA is incorporating a concept known as the ‘‘remote identification broadcast module’’ into this rule to allow persons to retrofit an unmanned aircraft by equipping it with a broadcast module that enables compliance with the operating requirements.

For example, users can legally operate a home-built, unmanned aircraft (like RubiQ) by equipping it with a remote ID broadcast module. These modules have yet to be developed but the FAA has announced manufacturer requirements for doing so. The market will have them available before they become necessary in September 2023.

*NOTE: operations of unmanned aircraft equipped with remote identification broadcast modules are limited to the visual line-of-sight of the person manipulating the flight controls of the UAS.

Operating a Drone Without Remote ID Capabilities at FRIAs

FAA-recognized identification areas (FRIAs) are locations where unmanned aircraft may operate without remote identification equipment, as long as they are sponsored by community-based organizations or educational institutions. According to the new rule, educational organizations such as elementary, middle school, high schools, colleges and universities can apply for designation as an FAA-recognized identification area.

FRIAs are the only locations unmanned aircraft (drones and radio-controlled airplanes) may operate without broadcasting remote ID message elements.

***The FAA will begin accepting applications for FRIAs on September 16, 2022, and is expected to issue an Advisory Circular (AC) to provide further guidance on FRIAs. The AC will provide additional direction on how to apply, including what information will be needed for approval.

If you have any questions about the laws and how to make sure your program is flying legally, contact a STEM Program Specialist at (800) 429-3110 or email us at support@edventures.com. We’re here to help you every step of the way, and as the FAA continues to update its legislation, we will continue to provide as much additional support as we can to keep drones in the hands of your students.

If you’d like to learn more about bringing drones to your students, visit Discover Drones.


Related Articles & Drone Resources

TSA Drone Competitions: 2018 | 2019 | 2020
Discover Drones as an Instructional Platform
More Drone Inspiration
Ready to start your drone program?

Newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up to receive product alerts, webinar invitations, STEM resources and exclusive offers.

Join

Request Quote

Speak with a Product Specialist to find the best Enrichment Solutions for your environment.

Find out

Catalogs & Brochures

Take this website on the go with a Catalog or Brochure tuned to your STEM needs.

Explore

Curriculum Samples

See each course in action with a FREE sample of any product you're interested in.

Sample