Papers, Please: Drones Must Display Identification Numbers in the Future

By Kehl Bayern / February 12, 2019

After the Gatwick airport debacle this past winter holiday season 2018, renewed efforts are being made around the world to combat rogue unmanned aerial vehicles.

And it couldn’t come any sooner: Not only did the Gatwick incident paralyze air traffic at a critical time during the holiday season but also it illustrated just how fragile our air transportation system are to attack and exploitation by UAVs with bad intentions.

Image via Peter Fazekas from Pexels.com.

The Federal Aviation Administration in the United States took a huge step towards regulating and identifying drones recently with its announcement that all drones in the future that fly in the US will need to display identification numbers.

Before this, the FAA allowed owners to put their id number inside where the battery is stored, but now it will need to be completely visible from the outside.

Interestingly, a report in PetaPixel states that one of the reasons behind the FAA’s change was “the risk a concealed explosive device pose[d] to first responders who must open a compartment to find the small unmanned aircraft’s registration number.”

Other measures include a unique radio identifier for the drone that broadcasts both its serial number and owner identity. Sounds like a privacy nightmare, all things considered, but it just a suggestion at this juncture.

Likely the beginning of a slew of new measures aimed at regulating and controlling drones, the FAA’s new rules really are not as overreaching as they could be. That said, a lot of UAV pilots worry about the effects regulations and laws regarding registration will have on everything from where and when you fly to who even has the ability to own a drone in the first place.

For their part, major manufacturers like DJI are working in concert with governments around the world to implement the best, most robust drone regulation scheme possible.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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