Digital License Plates for Drones Are Coming

Mariah Scott, the President of Skyward testified before Congress last September making the case for remote identification of drones which can be likened to digital license plates.

Image of UAS Digital License Plates for Drones

Digital License Plates for Drones

From the Skyward website.

There’s just one problem. Without a system for universal air traffic management – which would allow air traffic controllers and law enforcement to understand where drones are flying and for what purpose – utilities, telecommunications companies, engineering firms, and freight carriers can’t safely deploy autonomous drones, even if they are connected to 5G.

Last September, I testified before the House Subcommittee on Aviation to help our representatives understand the technical and regulatory updates we need to realize the transformational power of drones. Part of the solution is a requirement for something called remote identification – “digital license plates” for drones – whether flown for fun or commercially. Remote ID for drones would allow air traffic regulators and law enforcement to identify the pilot or operator of a drone that isn’t complying with regulations.

As a concept, remote ID is like the actual license plates that law enforcement use to identify the owner of a motor vehicle, but it’s most similar to the IP addresses that identify us when we connect to the Internet.

In a Washington Post op-ed last summer, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wrote, “Without congressional action, the U.S. government will remain unable to identify, track and mitigate weaponized or dangerous drones.”

Congress agreed, and in January the FAA began the process of creating a pilot program with industry partners to test remote ID technologies. The FAA expects to announce remote ID rules later this year.

For the full article click here.

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