TAKE ACTION, COMMENT TO THE FAA ON PROPOSED REMOTE IDENTIFICATION REGULATIONS FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT
On December 26, 2019 the FAA released a proposed set of rules for remote identification of remotely piloted aircraft that weigh over 250 grams. This would include model aircraft and potentially RC Rocket gliders or other rockets that use any remotely piloted recovery systems.
The requirements in the proposal are basically twofold. Either the models that currently exist would be required to be flown at pre-approved by the FAA recognized locations (basically AMA club fields) or the models would need to be somehow replaced or upgraded with fairly complicated and potentially expensive remote ID technology. Unfortunately even the allowance for flying the existing models in the “fixed flying sites” is problematic in that the wording of the proposal limits the creation of these sites to just one year as it appears that the FAA believes that the “fixed flying sites for models without remote identification” solution is only a temporary way for modelers to be compliant. They believe that in the future all model aircraft weighing over 250 grams (there is also wording in the proposal that indicates in the future the 250 gram models may not be exempt).
The full requirements for “remote identification” basically require that all model aircraft weighing over 250 grams would require included in the aircraft GPS and pressure altitude sensors that would broadcast this information via radio frequency out to other “drones” as well as transmit this data back to the RC controller via telemetry so that the RC controller could take this data along with GPS and pressure altitude data from the remote controller itself and connect to the pilot’s smart phone which would be continually transmitting all of this data to FAA approved “cloud computing” systems. Although the FAA is proposing these requirements take effect in a few years none of this technology exists today. It is very uncertain how feasible it would be for typically hobbyists that build their planes from plans or kits to include these systems.
Even if you don’t fly RC rocket gliders or other RC aircraft we urge all NAR members to speak out to the FAA against these new regulations affecting model aircraft as well as suggest to their friends and family to do the same. To read the FAA proposal or submit a comment, go to the remote ID proposal page on the federal website here. Click on the “SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT” button at the top of the page. You can copy and paste the template from the AMA blog below into the comment box, edit it to include your personal experience, or create your own message entirely. Complete the form and click on the “SUBMIT COMMENT” button at the end. Please note that comments and information provided are public knowledge. If you provide your first and last name it will be included in the public comments published to the regulations.gov website.