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Full Version: Court upholds FAAs requirement for remote ID on quads (drones)
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Public availability of PIC location is a huge issue. We’ve all heard multiple stories of first hand accounts of people being threatened, physically attacked, and even shot down by people who were not happy with us flying our drones near them. And that was only if they could find us.

Now imagine if you will (in our best Rod Serling accent) what can happen if someone can simply pull out their phone when they see a drone and know [i]exactly[/i] where we are.  It could become a true Twilight Zone situation indeed. 

Public knowledge of our location was the number one concern of every drone operator and pilot we talked to. And many of them decided that they would take preemptive measures in order to protect themselves. And that would likely not end well for anyone.

Even after 1000s of comments expressing the very real and dangerous concern over this requirement, the stated reasoning behind keeping that requirement in is weak at best, a direct insult at worst. Straight from the Final Rule preamble:

[i]“Though the FAA acknowledges the concerns expressed by commenters regarding personal safety, the FAA emphasizes that there are rules against interfering with an aircraft. The FAA finds that removal of the proposed requirement is not the appropriate solution, rather community outreach and other precautions are better suited to tackle these issues. Some commenters noted that sharing of the control station location is counter to the current practice of locking aircraft doors; however, the FAA finds that the analogous and appropriate practice would be to operate from a secure or restricted access location as necessary.”[/i]

Yes, there are rules against “[i]interfering with an aircraft”[/i]. Very specific ones in 18 U.S. Code § 32. Including threats with intent. However, even with the myriad of examples available for the FAA, DOJ, and/or the U.S. Attorney’s Office to use, there has yet to be a single example of anyone being cited or prosecuted under this statute. Even the small number sent to the DOJ by the FAA have been ignored. No blood no foul seems to be the standard response.

If the FAA is going to use the existing laws as justification for including that our location in a publicly available packet of information, then they need to use them. And use them immediately, frequently, retroactively if possible, and very, very publicly. 
If the news media, the arm of the demoncrat party, has negative connotations about drones, guess who most likely has a problem with them.

Perhaps the most interesting point about a remote ID USS is that the FAA apparently differentiates between a remote ID USS and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM). Previously, the FAA made remote ID an implicit assumption under UTM, probably because remote ID is a crucial component of any UTM system.

Why would the FAA want to split remote ID from UTM? Rely on commercial providers rather than FAA/DHS/DOD for positive ID of air tracks? Possibly have commercial providers charge for UAS remote ID rather than having the FAA broadcast it for free, as they did for manned ADS-B?

In two words: infrastructure cost. Most folks (except the Air Force and DHS) have forgotten one of the main reasons the FAA supported ADS-B back in the late 1990s. The FAA saw ADS-B broadcasting as a way to get out of the air surveillance radar business (and foist that on the Air Force and DHS). Not only was ADS-B much more accurate, and therefore safer, than either radar or transponder tracking, but the FAA could cover most of the United States using ADS-B receiver/rebroadcast systems on existing Federal infrastructure. The FAA only needs tracking information for controlled airspace, Class A airspace that begins at 18,000 feet and Class B (sometimes C) airspace around airports.

It had nothing to do with the terrorists?  Of course that was mode S which came before ads-b, but even mode S helped alleviate the broadcast storms, but added back more broadcasts with ads-b.  So much for that.  Transponders were employed to tell friendly from enemy during the world wars.  

Unlike the Air Force and DHS, the FAA never had the task to monitor all U.S. airspace for either enemy or terrorist aircraft. The FAA could execute its mission with ADS-B gear on existing airport infrastructure and just a few hundred antennas nationwide to cover aircraft transiting under instrument flight rules (IFR) in Class A airspace. As a result, DHS and the Air Force took over former FAA surveillance radars in the mid-2000s as the FAA began to increasingly rely on ADS-B for traffic management.

Several hundred ADS-B sites around the country might be enough to track manned aircraft operating above 18,000 feet or near airports, but it would take thousands (probably tens of thousands) of UAS remote ID antennas to cover small drones below 400 feet all over the country. It’s safe to assume the FAA won’t provide sUAS separation services like they do to manned aircraft flying IFR, but even just monitoring airport airspace for rogue drones would take thousands of remote ID antennas deployed around just about every American airport with a tower. Why on earth would the FAA want to pay for all that?

Well, they don’t, and a remote ID USS is a neat way to get around the FAA paying for a lot of drone remote ID while making remote ID services available not just to its traditional users—DOD, DHS and the airlines—but to law enforcement, commercial UTM providers and the more than 100,000 registered remote pilots in this country.

The cellular requirement was also going to make up that difference as well, but it was shut down by the commenters on the nprm.  We don't want to pay for it either!

The FAA having meetings behind closed doors and ex parte communication with various law enforcement agencies.

This was done under a "Cloak of Secrecy" for a reason. It is illegal. It's also unlawful and immoral.

For reiteration.

Part 135 regulations for delivery drone operations.  Separate regulations than recreational or part 107. But part 135 was for charter flights. I thought they were telling unmanned aircraft to stay away from manned aircraft.

Not only are they mixing up the quad guys with the modeling guys, now they are mixing up the drone delivery with passenger carrying charter flights.


In either case, they are putting drone deliveries under different regulations than just the typical plastic toy flier. So are these drone deliveries using adsb or remote id? And still below 400 feet?

They'll be favoring an AI autonomous flying robot in the shape of an airfoil over a guy operating fly by wire rc, and allow it to fly over people, moving vehicles, at night, possibly even in airspace, beyond visual line of sight, without the slow process of waivers and whatever else I forgot to mention. Facepalm Sounds ludicrous to me. Man versus machine. Which one will win?

FAAs nextgen project was also tied to adsb. It was some implementation designed for the harsh environment of Alaska, but required all over the continental us and over open water. Still not sure the success of something just based on some electronic mayhem gadget.

Another operation that altered the common flight paths at the request of the airlines to increase their bottom lines also done in secrecy?

People complaining about noise that hadn't had such a problem before. But it isn't any noisier flying way up there in the west coast as does the east coast or anywhere else coast.
The FAA obviously doesn't have the manpower to enforce quad regulations, but what makes them think the local fuzz has the manpower?  They're not sitting around like the maytag repairman.

The faa failed to produce any drone privacy regulations, as the epic v. Faa case was attempted.  The faa denied the epic petition on grounds of outside of the faa scope of policymaking.  Probably so, but also some of it such as peeping tom ordinances are already covered by local or state ordinances.
Law enforcement personnel are not able to enforce FAA regulations; however, most state and local jurisdictions have some sort of "reckless endangerment" statutes they can enforce when appropriate.

So why are they trying to do it with remote ID?

Usurpation of power.

Testing centers to obtain drone license/certificate getting revenue cut.

FCC talking about allowing uas to be able to communicate and call back to big brother using 5G.

While we're at it, Ford wants to enable a remote id function that communicates between cars, drones and other objects, all part of a smart functionality to track your every move. Us humans can't function on our own without government intervention.
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