NATE Backs FAA Proposal to ID Drones in Flight

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The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) on Monday submitted formal comments to the FAA supporting the agency’s proposal to require the remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operating in U.S. airspace, or the ability of observers on the ground to determine the identity of an unmanned aircraft in flight. The concept of Remote identification (or Remote ID) is the ability of a drone to provide certain identification and location information that people on the ground and other airspace users can receive. NATE’s submission came during a 60-day public comment period that ends in early March, Inside Towers reported.

According to the FAA, the ability to identify and locate UAS operating in U.S. airspace would address safety, national security and law enforcement concerns regarding the further integration of these aircraft into American airspace while also enabling greater operational capabilities. This will become even more important as the number of drone operations in all classes of airspace increases. In addition, the ability to identify and locate UAS provides critical information to law enforcement and other officials charged with ensuring public safety.

Concerning the FAA proposed rule, NATE Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Jim Goldwater said it, “will enhance safety, not only for people and infrastructure on the ground, but also for airplanes that, of course, operate in the national airspace. For NATE and our members, we will continue to be permitted to use UAS for tower inspections, which will enable us to maximize our available workforce at a time when we are experiencing significant workforce shortages.”

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