U.S. Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and John Thune, R-S.D., are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to swiftly publish a proposed rule for the remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The senators – members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee – recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to urge the FAA to move forward on a remote ID rulemaking.
According to the senators, remote identification could permit the public, the FAA, law enforcement and others to remotely track and identify drones and their operators during flight. Markey and Thune argue that this would help address the rise of unauthorized drone flights in sensitive areas, including near airports and large gatherings. A press release from Markey points out that in April, a drone flew over Fenway Park during a Boston Red Sox game.
“In recent months, a series of UAS sightings in safety-sensitive areas have underscored the need to quickly adopt and implement remote identification,” the senators wrote in an April 29 letter to Elaine Chao, DOT secretary. “Remote identification 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.”
Recently – in public comments to the FAA on its proposed rules for routinely flying drones at night and over people, as well as for drone safety and security issues – a number of UAS stakeholders also spoke out on the need for a remote ID solution.