Remote ID, the concept that a drone should have a digital license plate, has long been championed by industry leaders. Implementing it properly would enable remote pilots to safely perform complex flights including over people, at night, and beyond-visual-line-of-sight. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems was released the day after Christmas by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after numerous delays. Unfortunately, the 319-page document proposes rules and regulations that many feel would hamper a burgeoning industry, including DJI.

DJI's Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs, Brendan Schulman, posted a 2,100+ word call to action on the company's main content portal, yesterday, explaining why there was a need for Remote ID while chastising the FAA for not 'adopting good advice' when drafting the NPRM. Since 2017, DJI has implemented Remote ID across all of their consumer drones in the form of AeroScope technology. The intention in taking this step is that both the government and industry would willingly adopt Remote ID.

Schulman and DJI 'support a simpler, easier, and free version of Remote ID that doesn’t need a cellular connection or a service subscription.' To illustrate why these ideals are important, Schulman presents the following analogy that anyone who drives an automotive vehicle can understand: '...what if instead of just a license plate, your car was also legally required to be connected via the internet to a privately run car-tracking service that charged you an annual fee of about 20% of your car’s value, and stored six months of your driving data for government scrutiny? Would you think the government had gone too far?'

'What if instead of just a license plate, your car was also legally required to be connected via the internet to a privately run car-tracking service that charged you an annual fee of about 20% of your car’s value, and stored six months of your driving data for government scrutiny? Would you think the government had gone too far?'

The article goes on to explain how detrimental the Remote ID NPRM will be to everyone in the drone industry, except for those who stand to profit from it. The costs involved with compliance in everyday drone operations would cripple most commercial operators. Schulman hopes that every individual who will be adversely affected leaves a comment for the FAA to consider. As of this writing, over 5,300 have been posted. Comments will close on Monday, March 2nd.

'Together, we can ensure that drone innovation is protected and that the safety and security of the skies are assured.' Read Schulman's post in its entirety, here.