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Mon, Mar 18, 2024

No More Leniency for Remote ID Violators

FAA Ends 'Discretionary Enforcement Policy' Regarding Broadcast Identification

The FAA is now playing for keeps against those who operate UAVs without proper, compliant broadcasting equipment as outlined under the Remote ID rule.

That was put on the books in the fall of 2023, soft shoed to an extent by a regulator that could see just how unprepared the industry stood at the time. Despite their efforts, the drone industry at large sat unprepared, with an under-educated pilot base in regards to exactly what was needed to 'fly legal'. They granted some wiggle room, establishing a final date of March 16th of 2024 as a suitable endpoint to their magnanimity. After the 16th, the FAA feels there really isn't much excuse to remain out of compliance. The list of approved Remote ID compatible products has grown, and those on the market have grown more affordable. The shelves are flush with gear once again, the chip shortage in the rearview (until the next one, at least). 

As such, the FAA will no longer go easy on those who fall afoul of their Remote ID rules. Those who fly pirate-style, anonymous and unregistered, face fines, suspension, and revocation of their drone pilot certificates. (It will remain to be seen if the drone hobbyists take to "fox hunting" with the same eagerness HAM radio nerds do in finding unapproved transmitters, though.) 

The FAA lays out the case for the new system, promising that it keeps the skies in good condition for upcoming tech as the industry evolves. "Remote ID lays the foundation of the safety and security groundwork needed for more complex drone operations. It acts like a digital license plate and will help the FAA, law enforcement and other federal agencies locate the control station when a drone appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where it isn’t allowed to fly."



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