Drones are becoming more common and, as usually happens when this is the case, governments around the world are looking at how they can regulate their use.
There’s nothing really wrong with that in principle, but it is what will happen in practice that has many people worried.
That said, after more than a few incidents involving errant and mischievous drones, agencies are ready to roll out registration and identification schemes that will hopefully help authorities identify drone owners in the future should they need to do so.
The US Senate, in particular, is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to rapidly adopt new UAV ID rules that “will enhance safety, security, and privacy, and serve as a critical tool for law enforcement to respond to and address reports of illegal and unauthorized drone operations,” the senators said in a letter to US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
One proposal made by Chao in January of this year would have had drones become part of the National Airspace Systems (NAS) database but the FAA noted that something called “remote identification” had to be deployed before that could happen.
As DPReview explains, “Remote ID, in its simplest form, is the concept that drones should have a digital license plate. Unlike a plate on an automobile, a string of letters and numbers attached to a drone cannot be identified from the ground. Instead, there will be an electronic system that verifies the location and operator while it is airborne.”
The plan has buy-in from industry giants like DJI’s Brendan Schulman who said of the proposal, “Some of us at DJI believe this is an important solution to accountability, safety, security, as well as local laws like policy laws.”
For those of us who have watched and waited for much of this to become a reality, it is a long time coming.