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DRONES – New US legislation could make ALL current drones illegal

Recently the FAA (Federal Administration of Aviation of the USA) began to disclose a new proposal to track all drones that are in North American soil. O Remote ID it would be a remote identification, which would collect all flight data. The main reason for imposing this new standard is the control of these aircraft. This would be like a record, which would identify the main data of the owners of the equipment, being able to make it responsible for possible negligence.

FAA Remote IDA FAA official site

Drones are becoming increasingly popular, with supporters using it in different ways. There are those who make images as a hobby, also those who use it for work, recording special moments or even for agricultural purposes. It is expected that in the future the uses will be extended to several types of segments, such as in deliveries – something that is already happening as tests in some countries, transporting to agencies -, and even air taxi. In addition, there are also many people who use them for racing.

FAA proposal and what Remote ID

According to the FAA itself (similar to ANAC in Brazil), the "Remote Identification The ability of a drone to provide identification information that can be received by other parties during the flight." These parts would be mainly the regulatory bodies, in the case of the USA, the FAA.

The proposal that with the control, it would be easier to regulate the so-called Unmanned Aircraft (UAS), read drones, airplanes for. The proposal says that the main priority is security and protection.

"Remote ID would help FAA, law enforcement and federal security agencies when a UAS appears to be flying unsafe or when the drone cannot fly. The development of Remote ID is based on the structure established by the small registration rule of the UAS and LAANC's ability to lay the foundations for a UTM (Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System), scalable to the national airspace. " – Explanation of the FAA proposal.

The registry would be able to identify which drone is flying, what is its model, where it is going (depending on the situation), what is its location, its GPS coordinates, who has been operating it, for how long. All of this at the moment it is happening. This large database would be under the control of the FAA and also for use by the government in general.

Like other very delicate points, all segments will have to adapt in 2 years, this means that no drone can be launched after this period without considering this new law, and again, when we talk about drones, it is not only related to models above 250 grams, but ALL, small, light, toy etc, EVERYTHING. And there is more, 3 years after the law is implemented, NO drone can fly outside the standard, otherwise it is illegal.

As yet another problem, every drone will need to pay an annual fee of $ 30 dollars to the agency that will manage the Remote ID system in the USA, not counting the operator's costs for the chip + internet plan that is necessary.

There's a really cool video of Rafael from the Dronemodelismo channel that summarizes many of the main problems, check below:

Other proposals for tracking drones

DJI, the leading company in the drone industry, holding 74% of the world market according to a 2018 report, commented on the FAA proposal. THE company says in favor of the initiative, but you think that some changes are necessary before it is implemented. Especially in how Remote ID works. That paid location system, which means that users would need to pay for a subscription to use it.

"Everyone understands why cars need license plates: drivers need to be held responsible. But what if, instead of just one license plate, your car is also legally required to stay connected to the internet for a private tracking service that charges for a annual fee equivalent to about 20% of the value of your car. And on top of that, store six months of your driving data for government analysis? Would you think the government went too far? " – Official statement from DJI

As the company said, this monthly fee could be more expensive than the drone itself over time. Despite this, she recognizes the importance of having a tracking system, as well as license plates. DJI has been investing in a Remote ID system since 2017, but the service is offered free of charge to its customers, in addition to being an open standard and not needing internet access.

"Remote ID does not have to be expensive or complex. For the past two years, DJI has demonstrated a Remote ID method that, as envisaged by the ARC (Aviation Rulemaking Committee), is effective, free, automatic and does not require an intermediary service provider. : transmission technologies. If you have one of our drones, but didn?t realize this Remote ID transmission feature because it didn?t cost money or cause problems well, that?s the point ". – Official statement from DJI

This is a solution that DJI is presenting to the committee. The company has been pushing since last year (2019) for regulatory bodies to require a tracking system from other companies. This is one of the main reasons for your Remote ID standard to be open, so that other companies can adopt it as a standard. The FAA has not yet ruled on the possibility of revising the proposal, but possibly it will be studied.

If the FAA proposal is accepted, all drones will need 4G chips to maintain the internet connection.

If the FAA does not relax its proposal, the solution will be add 4G chips to drones. This will give them access to the internet and be easily located. The main problem with this is the extra costs. Users will need to pay for the tracking application fees, in addition to internet plans specific to their equipment. Only the maintenance values ??of your drone can exceed its price in a short time.

Another factor is that if the rule applies to any and all drone models, a portion of the segment will be largely affected. These less professional and less expensive devices, which do not have much control, can start to be "clandestine". This can result in the end of commercialization of these types of devices and affect a number of companies that develop components.

Importance of a drone tracking system

There are several cases of user negligence, who fly in improper places. Many major airports have already been closed, in addition to fines. The main problem is when it is not possible to identify which user was causing the problems, which results in impunity or even the accusation of innocents. If there were a general tracking system, this problem would be easily resolved. However, it is very important to highlight that these are larger drones, very different from the FPV racer models that have an average range of 200 meters in distance and 50 in height, that is, well outside the reality of dones like the DJI models that reach 4km on WiFi models and 8km on radio models.

The tracking service can prevent impunity or the accusation of innocents

DJI compared the drone cars. It is possible to find the culprit for some traffic violation easily, just by the license plate of the vehicle. In this register there is all the information of the person responsible, making the recognition accurate. Remote ID would do something similar, but with much greater control.

The drone models most affected by the FAA proposal

As already mentioned, cheaper drones, which are used for fun, without any more serious intention, may stop being marketed. This is because it would not pay to keep the device with all the new requirements. But there is yet another category that is increasingly popular and is also under threat.

The so-called FPV Drones, they are equipment easily and assembled at home. Although there are ready-made models on the market, most assembled by the owner himself through the components he chooses, in DIY mode (Do It Yourself, or do it yourself). They are mainly used for racing and flying at higher speeds and with less distance between the drone and control, and most do not have internet access. All the user needs to control and most models of an FPV glasses (which shows the view of the drone's camera and helps to control it better, avoiding obstacles), and the drone itself.

The drone segment most affected is the FPV racer

As they do not necessarily need GPS, since "grace" often controls them in difficult situations, these models rarely have extra connections or functionality different from the main proposal. These will be the most affected if the FAA standard is accepted in the way it is being proposed. Joshua Bardwell, FPV runner, made a video on his YouTube channel where he says that "The Remote ID proposed by the FAA is the end of the FPV hobby as we know it".

The corridors do not have equipment that needs very high investments. In a quick search you can find FPV Racer Drones for R $ 500, while any equipment a little more complete, like a DJI Mavic Mini for example, exceeds R $ 3,000, in the simplest scenario.

If the model is made by a US agency, why do I need to worry?

In fact, the FAA's proposal regulates only drones that are flying on American soil. If the proposal were approved today, technically Brazil would have no impact. Despite this, the North American model is replicated to other parts of the world. If large companies in the industry, such as DJI, Autel, Skydio, among others, needed to adapt their devices to the USA, the model would certainly be replicated to all other countries in the world, since it is a basic logic of costs and maintenance.

The US regulatory model is generally replicated in other countries

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The agency opened a grant-making process for people to contribute to the review

The North American market has enough strength to dictate what the rules will look like around the world. That is, if this is accepted, surely the other countries will replicate the model adopted as a standard. Although this is not a rule, this is already happening with other legislation on drones, and it is likely to continue, such as the drone's "take-off weight" legislation, which defines whether it needs or is not approved by an airplane agency.

BRAZIL

ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency), which is responsible for the regulation of all aircraft – manned or not – in Brazil announced in 2019 that the rules would be changed. Currently, the Brazilian Special Civil Aviation Regulation No. 94 (RBAC-E No. 94) is in force. He compares and dictates the list of rules for flights with drones on Brazilian soil.

On November 5, 2019, the Agency opened a process to receive contributions from society for the revision of the current code. External participation is used in the preliminary phases, and is considered for the definition of later rules. It is very likely that the new FAA standards will be used for the final definitions for the Brazilian market.

The definition of the new laws should happen in March of this year

To understand what the current rules are and what I need to take flight with a drone in Brazil, access this article with all the information you need to know. Soon we will make a complete video on the subject, follow the World Connected on social networks, or subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive the notification as soon as the video goes live.

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