Remote identification (Remote ID) is the concept that drones need to be equipped with a digital license plate. Knowing who is flying an unmanned aerial system (UAS) where, and when, is imperative for increasing safety and security. Two senators on opposite sides of the political spectrum even urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to take action recently.

This Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed its Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) that a final rule on remote identification of drones could take up to two years to implement. This latest development also finds them looking to the committee for alternate strategies including how to get operators to voluntarily use remote ID.

'We realize that there’s no schedule I can give you or anyone else can give you that will be quick enough to get to remote ID, from a regulatory standpoint,' said Jay Merkle, executive director of the FAA’s drone integration office. 'So we think working with industry to get early adoption of [technical] standards and voluntary compliance is a good way to start enabling and unlocking' flights over people and beyond line of sight.

Remote ID for UAS has been a long time in the making. The process was introduced over two years ago. Rulemaking was supposed to begin on May 1st but was pushed back to July 21st. The newly-formed DAC hasn't been neglecting it, however. 'The reason for delay is not because people haven’t been working on it,' Merkle said, describing the rulemaking as 'very complex.'