Daily Management Review

U.S. FAA Alters Rules Allowing Commercial Drone Usage At Night And Over People


Remote ID keys to act as “a digital license plate for drones”.

The Federal Aviation Administration, in short FAA, of the United States informed that small drones are likely to be permitted to fly at night over people whereby marking a significant advancement towards “widespread commercial” drone deliveries.
Moreover, FAA will be addressing security concerns over “unmanned aerial vehicles” through “remote identification technology” so as to be able to identify them from the ground. Prior to this, small drones were permitted to fly over people for operations only if the latter was “directly participating in the operation, located under a covered structure, or inside a stationary vehicle”. For any other situations, the FAA waiver needed to be obtained by the operators.
In January, the rules are to be published in the federal register, while will be take another two months for them to come into effect. The manufacturer will get 18 months in hand to produce drones with “Remote ID” while the operators will get an “additional year to provide Remote ID”. In the words of the FAA Administrator, Steve Dickson:
“The new rules make way for the further integration of drones into our airspace by addressing safety and security concerns. They get us closer to the day when we will more routinely see drone operations such as the delivery of packages.”
Drone manufacturers have been in a rush to hasten deliveries. According to Reuters:
“The United States has over 1.7 million drone registrations and 203,000 FAA-certificated remote pilots”.
To fly at night, drones will require to have “anti-collision lights”, noted FAA. In fact, in “some circumstances”, the operations rules allow drones to fly over “moving vehicles”. Furthermore Reuters informed:
“The new rules eliminate requirements that drones be connected to the internet to transmit location data but do that they broadcast remote ID messages via radio frequency broadcast. Without the change, drone use could have been barred from use in areas without internet access”.
While talking about the Remote ID the “Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International” said it will act as “a digital license plate for drones ... that will enable more complex operations” which include operating “at night and over people” which the association remarks to be “important steps towards enabling integration of drones into our national airspace.”