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Remote ID and How Drone Pilots Can Meet the FAA’s Remote ID Rule

Here’s a quick and simple guide to meeting the FAA’s Part 89 Remote ID requirement

Credit: Unsplash

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Remote ID (Part 89) rule for drones became effective on April 21, 2021. In its simplest form, Remote ID can be described as a digital license plate for a drone. More broadly, Remote ID is a monumental step toward a regulatory environment wherein drone operations can be fully and safely integrated into US airspace.

How does Remote ID work?

Well, since a physical license plate wouldn’t be of much use on a small airborne drone, Remote ID works by sending radio signals to receivers on the ground. As such, this necessitates either having a drone with built-in capabilities to transmit these signals or attaching an external module to the drone to do the same thing.

Why is Remote ID necessary?

With Remote ID enabled, if a drone appears to be flying recklessly or illegally, the FAA and other law enforcement agencies would be able to figure out its control station or take-off location.

With such unparalleled aerial accountability, Remote ID will make the skies safer for all. This means the public acceptance of drones will improve, making these flying machines more ubiquitous. And there will be new possibilities for drone pilots to fly without worrying about special waivers and exemptions, such as flying at night or directly over people.

Remote ID: Important dates to remember

While the Part 89 rule may have come into effect already, you actually don’t need to do anything immediately. The FAA is giving drone manufacturers until September 16, 2022, to make all the necessary upgrades to future drones.

And after that, drone pilots will have until September 16, 2023, to meet the operating requirements of part 89. Which brings us to the big question: How do I meet the requirements of Remote ID?

3 ways drone pilots can meet the Remote ID rule

1. Operate a Remote ID compatible drone: A Standard Remote ID Drone is one that is manufactured with remote ID broadcast capability built-in. All DJI drones, for example, introduced to the market after September 2022 will have Remote ID capabilities built in. Interestingly, the FAA plans to allow Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations only to those drones that have Remote ID built-in.

2. Operate a drone with Remote ID broadcast module: A broadcast module is an external device that can be added to a drone to retrofit it with Remote ID capability. The caveat, however, remains that any pilot operating a drone with a remote ID broadcast module must be able to see their drone at all times during a flight.

3. Operate without Remote ID at FAA-recognized sites: Understanding that it may not be possible for everyone to meet the Remote ID requirements, especially those in research and development fields, the FAA has kept room for some exceptions. The agency is allowing community-based organizations and educational institutions to get their premises registered as FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs). In these FRIAs, drones without Remote ID would be able to operate legally within the pilot's visual line of sight.

This excellent graphic by the FAA explains it quite nicely:

Credit: FAA

The drone services market is estimated to grow to $63.6 billion by 2025, and regulations like Remote ID are crucial for sustaining the momentum and enabling greater commercial opportunities. And if this rule improves the social acceptance of the technology we all love, it has got our vote.


Ishveena Singh is a versatile journalist and writer with a passion for drones and location technologies. She has been named as one of the 50 Rising Stars of the geospatial industry for the year 2021.

In the last 13 years, Ishveena has worked with both mainstream media organizations (Miami Herald International, Times of India, Microsoft MSN) and dedicated geospatial technology media (Geospatial World, Geoawesomeness). With a deep understanding of content marketing and social media, Ishveena also helps private companies (DJI, Aerodyne Group, Terra Drone Corporation) to generate qualified leads through useful and timely content.

When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find Ishveena on road trips, eating her way through life, or binge-watching TV shows. Connect with her today on LinkedIn and Twitter


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