Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

FAA delays drone ID enforcement

Part 89 compliance to be enforced in March

Days before the remote identification (RID) rule for drones (FAR Part 89) takes effect September 16, the FAA announced September 13 that enforcement of the requirements will be delayed six months to allow drone operators more time to equip their digital license plate.

Photo by Jim Moore.

The agency issued a press release and updated its webpage on the topic, noting that drone pilots have been given what amounts to a six-month extension—until March 16—before any drone operators will face consequences for failure to comply with the new requirement that most remotely piloted aircraft broadcast RID information. The requirement applies to  drones operated outside of specially designated areas, and each aircraft is required to broadcast a unique identification number, along with GPS position information for the aircraft and control station, and other required data.

While many drones are now sold with the required data broadcast capability built in, homebuilt systems and older aircraft must be retrofitted with an approved broadcast module to comply with the new rule. "In making this decision [to delay enforcement], the FAA recognizes the unanticipated issues that some operators are experiencing finding some remote identification broadcast modules," the agency wrote on its website.

AOPA joined more than 50,000 individuals and organizations that submitted comments to the FAA when Part 89 was still a rulemaking proposal in 2020, voicing support for RID as an essential tool for the safe integration of drones into the national airspace system, while requesting a few adjustments. The final rule, published in 2021, included many of the changes AOPA sought.

Operators who have previously registered non-RID drones that have since been equipped (as many manufacturers have enabled via software update) will need to update their aircraft registration records in the FAADroneZone.

Jim Moore
Jim Moore
Managing Editor-Digital Media
Digital Media Managing Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: Drone

Related Articles