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What is Remote ID (RID) and Why is it Needed? (Explained)

September 16th, 2023. For a great many people out there, this will be a regular non-eventful day.

Of course, there will be those people who will be marking it on the Calandar as a birthday or anniversary, making that day special to them in some personal way.

For most, though, it will be just like the day before or the day after. Otherwise, just another day, a Saturday at least.

Then there will be an entire group of people, drone pilots, who will be watching and waiting for this day in particular, as September 16th, 2023, marks a significant change within our industry.

That change is Remote ID.

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How large of a group of people are we talking about?

Well, the most recent documented number is a total of 867,344 drones registered as of the end of 2021, with that number expected to double by the end of 2023.

That’s a sizeable group of people.

Now, this number does not cover drones that are not required to be registered, as there are some cases where registering a drone is not required.

We’ll cover that in more detail further on, as it’s important in a few ways.

Nor does this number take into account pilots who may own more than one aircraft. The number of remote pilots certified by the FAA at the end of 2021 was 244,568.

This number was also expected to double by the end of 2023, if not triple.

These would be Part 107 certified remote pilots, meaning those who have a license to pilot drones for commercial use and purposes.

Drone pilots will be marking this day as the day the FAA’s Remote ID regulations go into effect for pilots.

That group of people will now need to be compliant with these regulations. This DAY, September 16th, 2023, will be a day like any other.

If you go out flying and just so happen to be without Remote ID, no one’s going to come up to you and hassle you over your flight. At least no more so than usual, anyway.

One of the reasons for that is simple. The FAA has no real capacity to enforce its regulations.

They rely on the pilots being responsible for their own actions and complying with the regulations, which, mind you, is mandated.

Before we get into all of that, we should go back. To the beginning, as it is the only way to see how we got here. So, let’s get into it!

Where Did RID Come From?

Like many, it would be easy to just throw the FAA under the proverbial bus here. The fact is, they were ordered to do this by none other than those very folks who represent and govern over us.

The idea was simple. With the addition of UAVs into the national airspace there will need to be a way to monitor and maintain the airspace’s integrity for manned aircraft.

This goes all the way back to 2015 when these orders from on high trickled down to the FAA trough the department of transportation.

There were talks on how to incorporate these devices safely and securely into the shared airspace with manned aircraft.

Here are their words, just so there’s no confusion.

Drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are fundamentally changing aviation, and the FAA is committed to working to fully integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). Safety and security are top priorities for the FAA and remote identification (remote ID) of drones is crucial to our integration efforts.

This statement is from the final ruling that was released and published on Jan 15, 2021.

Prior to this final ruling, the FAA had done what was required by law, which included a period of 60 days where they had received comments from the general public and interested parties.

This was referred to as The FAA’s Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and it was released and published on December 31, 2019.

During that period the FAA received over 53,000 comments, of which I myself was one of the commenters.

By law, the FAA was required to read and take into consideration every comment they received. There is no doubt that this law was followed.

All comments were read and any effect they may have had on the final ruling is whatever effect it may have had.

Regardless of those comments, after a deliberation period, the final ruling was made, and drone pilots got to see the Final Ruling for the first time on Jan 15, 2021.

Originally, in this ruling, it was stated that RID would have a start date of March 16, 2021.

This, of course, changed quite quickly when it was realized just what a daunting task RID could be in actual application and there were no means of actually enacting the action.

Corrections had to be made, which were done and re-published on March 10, 2021, delaying the effective date to April 21,2021.

Once again, I’m just going to put the FAA’s own words in here, so we don’t get confused.

Effective Dates

Almost all of the final rule on remote ID becomes effective April 21, 2021.

The subpart covering the process for FRIA applications from community-based organizations and educational institutions becomes effective September 16, 2022.

Here are other dates of note:

  • September 16, 2022: Drone manufacturers must comply with the final rule’s requirements for them.
  • September 16, 2023: All drone pilots must meet the operating requirements of part 89. For most operators this will mean flying a Standard Remote ID Drone, equipped with a broadcast module, or flying at a FRIA.

What you see here are the actual Effective Dates as listed in the final ruling. As we see, September 16th, 2023, is the final date of full compliance, but technically not the first date of compliance.

A good example of things being in flux would be the notable date of September 16, 2022. This was the date for manufacturers to become compliant.

This date was pushed back though after manufacturers were unable to be ready for it. The actual date of manufacturer compliance was moved to December 16th of 2022.

From our end, the date of September 16th, 2023, is set in stone. We have no expectation that this date will be moved or changed in any way. September 16th is the date a pilot will need to be in compliance.

The Timeline

2006 First commercial drone permit

Looking at the timeline presented above, we see that the FAA issued the first Commercial Drone Permit way back in 2006, and for the following eight years, they would issue a similar permit once or twice a year, usually related to natural disasters where these systems were being employed.

In 2014, these permits were being issued at much higher rates and the FAA realized that the drone industry was going to start having a major effect on manned aircraft and the National Airspace.

2013 Delivery by drone announced

As we can see, interest in drone technology was starting to get some real notice all around.

Mainly by Jeff Bezos and other similar parties announcing their hopes to utilize the technology for delivery use as early as 2013.

2013 DJI Phantom released

This also coincided with the release of the DJI Phantom a much more user-friendly and flyable drone system.

2015 Drone registration mandated

Within two years from 2013, we would see the first FAA-mandated registry for UAVs and congress being lobbied by several different interest groups, demanding that some form of legislation getting passed to limit and control drone use.

This all came to a head in 2015. Granted, these interest groups had started their lobbying sooner than that, but in 2015 they got some results.

This is the time when the first thoughts of Remote ID started to form as well as Congress going to the Department of Transportation and demanding that action be taken.

This in turn trickled quickly down to the FAA, the regulating body for the National Airspace System. This is also the time when many of the FAA’s actions go dark.

With backroom meetings with private industry leaders such as T-Mobile, Airmap, Amazon, etc., as well as the National Security Agency.

This time span from 2015 to the NPRM being published in 2019 resulted in a framework of what Remote ID should be, already planned out.

The FAA, while working on possible RID, was also trying to reign in drone flights and make it so they could be performed more safely. This led to the introduction of the LAANC system in 2017.

2017 LAANC becomes available

LAANC or Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability was an excellent means of allowing pilots to get airspace authorizations through the use of an app.

This system would allow for near-instantaneous airspace authorizations to pilots who needed to fly in areas that were not Class G airspace.

Up till 2017, this was done by either contacting the local control tower or through a written request that could take up to 90 days for a response.

Initially, this program was only available to Part 107 Commercial pilots but was later extended in 2019 to include recreational flyers as well.

This system, which is still in use today, revolutionized the drone industry and allowed drones to go and fly places they otherwise would not be able to fly in.

2019 FAA publishes NPRM

2019 was when we really got an idea of what was to come. It was on December 31st, 2019, that the FAA published the NPRM.

It was during this time that the FAA through the required comment period received over 50,000 comments from the public and in the end, came back with the Final Ruling on RID.

2021 Final ruling, and Raceday Quads files lawsuit against FAA

In January 2021, the final ruling was published and almost immediately Raceday Quads, LLC began a petition to challenge the ruling.

This led to a lawsuit, but in the end, the lawsuit was won by the FAA.

It does however raise some serious issues and probably should have been heard by a higher court as some of the issues raised are not only factual but should have been taken into further account than was represented in the Final Ruling.

The premise of the RDQ lawsuit was that the FAA had not taken into account what was a brand-new style of drone flight – the First Person View or FPV.

This is a style of flying a drone by wearing goggles and experiencing the flight from a first-person perspective.

There was a lot involved in this lawsuit, far more than this article could cover. If you’re interested in learning more, all of the information is readily available.

Raceday Quads has a page dedicated to this topic at FAA Legal Battle – Challenging Remote ID (link).

2022 Manufacturer compliance

Next in our timeline from above, we see the next memorable date is that of Manufacturer compliance. This is memorable due to it having to be moved from September to December of 2022.

The importance of this change is simply that it could be changed.

This would have seemed like one of those set-in-stone sorts of dates, and yet due to many manufacturers not being able to be in compliance, it was pushed back by three months.

So even though we are staring down the barrel of the RID launch, it still may surprise us.

This brings us to the here and now. Right now, here in March of 2023, there is a Call To Action!

Call to action!

Right now! Today! You could possibly save the drone hobby for the next generation to come.

As we have been going over, on September 16th, 2023, Remote ID will go into effect, and all drone pilots will need to be in compliance with the new RID regulations as they are currently written.

Currently, the FPV Freedom Coalition in cooperation with the Flite Test Community Association is trying to get Congress through the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 to change the 250-gram limit to something higher, more like a 1000-gram limit or 1 kilogram.

This could have a significant impact on RID and on the industry as a whole, as most consumer remote aircraft are already under a 1-kilogram limit, such as the DJI Mavic 3, which weighs in at 895 grams.

Now you may be asking what the significance of the 250-gram limit is.

The 250-gram limit

As it stands in the way RID law is written, if you are flying an aircraft that is under 250 grams when it is launched, it will not be required to be registered, if being flown by a hobbyist pilot. Nor will it require remote ID.

Now the flip side of that is as a Part 107 Operator all aircraft flown by the Part 107 holder has to be registered and Remote ID compliant.

Once again, we’ll let the FAA lay it out, as there’s a real need to get it right.

  • All drones must be registered, except those that weigh 0.55 pounds or less (less than 250 grams) and are flown exclusively under the Exception for Recreational Flyers.
  • Drones registered under part 107 may be flown for recreational purposes as well as under part 107.
  • Drones registered under the Exception for Recreational Flyers cannot be flown for Part 107 operations.

So, any change in the 250-gram limit would only really affect those hobbyist pilots out there. If this limit were to be increased, any hobbyist pilot could still be within the new regulations and fly much as they have always done.

This action would no longer be slamming the door in the face of new pilots who are either just starting out or simply want to have the joy of flying in their life.

As for us commercial operators, we will need to comply, and we should.

As commercial pilots, we shouldn’t be doing anything in the air that would have us concerned that we would be violating any of the regulations as is.

I would recommend fully supporting this effort, as this is a once and every five-year opportunity. Click this link to go to the FPV Freedom Coalition website and reach out to Congress!

Also, if you’re interested in just where the 250-gram limit came from I recommend watching this wonderful video by Josh Bardwell, which covers the origins of the 250-gram limit and why it might just be time to rethink it.

What Is Remote ID?

Ok, take a breather; I know it’s already been a lot to take in. I felt that having an idea of the timeline we’re looking at is important to understanding how and why we got here.

Now that we have gotten through the history, we’re left with the question. What is Remote ID?

In layman’s terms, it’s a means of tracking your aircraft and you. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here’s how the FAA puts it.

Remote ID is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that can be received by other parties.

That’s pretty much what I said. Isn’t it. You know, you’re right; I said a way of tracking your aircraft and you. Seems the FAA left that last part off or did they?

Before you start accusing me of having memory loss or a concussion, let’s take a really close look at the words the FAA chose to use.

It’s kind of like the “In the furtherance of a business” sort of legal talk.

Remote ID is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information.

STOP! Nowhere in that statement does it tell us what location information is being shared or what identification information.

It does not state just the drone’s location or identification. So, there’s some room for interpretation.

As we have learned, that information is not just the aircraft or its position in the National Airspace System, or the aircraft’s identification.

No, we know now that the third party will have not only that information but the information of the ground station’s location and its identification as well.

Ok, so if that’s not disturbing enough, let’s look at the rest.

That can be received by other parties.

Now you may be asking what other parties. Do you mean like the FAA, the police, or firefighters? Just who exactly can get this information?

We have to dig a bit deeper for that. In the body of the final rule, we do get some clarification. It states:

Remote ID will require most drones operating in US airspace to have remote ID capability. Remote ID will provide information about drones in flight, such as the identity, location, and altitude of the drone and its control station or take-off location. Authorized individuals from public safety organizations may request identity of the drone’s owner from the FAA.

Now, this is quite interesting, to say the least. It is here that we find what sort of information will be broadcast for other parties to see.

Here we learn that not only will the aircraft position be known but the ground station and takeoff location will be accessible as well.

Before we move on, let’s look a little closer at the tail end of that statement.

Authorized individuals from public safety organizations may request identity of the drone’s owner from the FAA.

This is another of those sneaky statements. Out of it, we can learn that the pilot’s name will not be broadcast.

Some authorized individual from a public safety organization will have to request it from the FAA in order to acquire the user’s name.

I know it’s easy to get hung up here with what isn’t said. We can infer that the other information mentioned is being broadcast to everyone who might be inclined to receive it.

Such information as the aircraft’s location, the ground station’s location, or take-off location. As well as the identifying information.

What information, you may ask? Well, the aircraft’s F-number and other related information.

Nowhere does it state that only authorized individuals from public safety organizations are able to view that information.

No, quite contrary to that, that information is broadcast to everyone.

It is not unreasonable to believe that armed with such information as that which is being broadcast, acquiring the identity of the actual user would be all that hard to look up.

I’ll clarify this in a little more detail.

There are apps out already and more are being developed as I write this, that will provide anyone with that app to view and monitor drone flights around them and will easily have access to the information that is being broadcast.

One such app already out is the DroneScanner app.

You can go and download this app today, and you will be able to find and locate any RID-compliant drones that are operating within a 1 Kilometer radius of the device running the app.

Why do we need Remote ID?

The reasons and need for remote ID are pretty clear. Ever since 2015, we have seen pilots acting irresponsibly, and like my grandma used to say, one bad apple can spoil a bunch.

She wasn’t wrong. In this case, we have some really bad apples out there who have ruined it for the rest of us.

Or that’s what the FAA would have us believe. The fact is, in the history of aviation, drones are the safest aircraft in the skies, with zero deaths attributed to drone flight – knock on wood.

No other sector of aviation can make this claim. None!

Are there pilots out there acting in inappropriate ways? Yes. Yes, there are! Are they solely to blame for the introduction of Remote ID? No, or at least not entirely.

The most prominent proponents of Remote ID are Washington lobbyists, and not exactly the ones you may be thinking of.

Some very large companies, companies that are not even related to the drone industry, have been pushing to not only control sub 400ft airspace but to monetize drone flight.

It is those people who have led us to where we are today.

In the interest of not being sued, we won’t name any specific companies.

Just know that since the first drone took off, there have been parties with significant money backing them that have always worked against the public interest in such technology.

If you’re interested in that dark path, you can follow a breadcrumb path quite easily as they haven’t tried to hide their disdain for drones and those who fly them.

You will be shocked at some of the names you find, though.

Yes, RID is needed!

Back to whether or not we need some form of Remote ID.

That answer is an absolute yes.

Yes, remote ID is one of those necessary evils one must endure as more and more industries and more and more pilots pick up a controller.

There will be a need and a way to monitor and, if need be, adjust what is happening in the sub 400ft. airspace.

There are many ways this problem could be approached, such as an addition or clause for something known as shielded operations.

Shielded operations are just what they sound like.

They’re drone operations that take place in a shielded area where there would be no expectation of encountering a manned aircraft. Such as flying in one’s backyard below the tree or roof line.

Let’s be honest; if there’s a manned aircraft there, they have far bigger problems than a drone being in their way as they would be crashing.

You could put out a system that ties directly into the system manned aircraft use, such as the ABD-S.

This is a system that manned aircraft have used for years to maintain situational awareness of other aircraft around them.

A tried-and-true system that is just as beneficial today as the day it came out.

This system is similar to RID in a way, as it, too, broadcasts a very limited amount of information related to the aircraft itself.

ABD-S doesn’t tell you who’s flying the aircraft as that information is not needed, similar to why your name won’t be broadcast.

So, it does raise the question of why a completely separate and not interrelated system is needed for drones. Is the focus on safety or enforcement?

A system that would allow for sub 400ft. monitoring accessible by manned pilots and unmanned pilots alike and would provide both with better situational awareness than two independent systems could.

It would seem that if any party should be aware of a drone flight, it should be a manned pilot possibly coming into shared airspace and vice versa.

The FAA would tell you and me it’s about Safety and Security. Here’s the crux of it all – what should be absolutely about SAFETY is now shifted to being more about SECURITY.

This Remote ID, as it is written, does nothing to make manned systems or unmanned systems safer. That’s just the fact of it.

How to be sure you’re compliant

With the date of September 16th, 2023 on the horizon, we would be remiss if we didn’t share how to be sure you are compliant before we get there.

One of the first things we should point out is that almost all of the major manufacturers in the industry will be able, through firmware updates, to make the aircraft RID-compliant without you having to do anything further.

If you’re a DJI owner or an Autel owner, you have already received this sort of firmware update, and your device is most likely already good to go.

Now, that’s not to say all DJI aircraft will be RID-compliant. Such aircraft as the Phantom 4 Pro or older systems will most likely not be updated.

I mention the P4P specifically because there are a great many of them still flying commercially out there, and these will most likely need to be equipped with an RID module in order to be within the regulations after September 16th.

Note: If you’re interested in knowing if your model aircraft is RID-compliant, you can look it up here.

This is the current FAA site page listing all aircraft that have received their Declaration of Compliance.

Currently, there are 80 different aircraft/other listed, with this list expected to grow as we get closer to the September 16th, 2023 date.

One thing to point out about this list is it is not exclusive to just aircraft.

A good example of this is found on page 5 of the list. RID number RID000000045 is a listing for the Dronetag Beacon as well as a listing for uAvionix and their pingRID RID number RID0000000132.

From this list, you will find that Skydio is right in there with its aircraft. This is definitely a list as a pilot you will want to keep track of.

There are three ways drone pilots will be able to meet the identification requirements of the remote ID rule:

  • Operate a Standard Remote ID Drone (link) that broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its control station.

    A Standard Remote ID Drone is one that is produced with built-in remote ID broadcast capability in accordance with the remote ID rule’s requirements.
  • Operate a drone with a remote ID broadcast module (link). A broadcast module is a device that broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its take-off location in accordance with the remote ID rule’s requirements.

    The broadcast module can be added to a drone to retrofit it with remote ID capability.

    Persons operating a drone with a remote ID broadcast module must be able to see their drone at all times during flight.
  • Operate (without remote ID equipment) (link) at FAA-recognized identification areas (FRIAs) sponsored by community-based organizations or educational institutions.

    FRIAs are the only locations unmanned aircraft (drones and radio-controlled airplanes) may operate without broadcasting remote ID message elements.

This is what we have for understanding how to meet the requirements for RID. The first one, and the one that will be the most common, is “Operate a Standard Remote ID Drone.”

For the most part, this includes GPS drones such as those of DJI, Autel, and Skydio.

These drones will not require the pilot to do anything more than enter some information about themselves to be within compliance.

This is going to be the method that is employed the most as it will be done during the manufacturing process.

Dronetag Beacon RID Module

The second one is the use of a Remote ID module; this device would need to be purchased by the user and mounted to the aircraft.

These modules are already available from such companies as DroneTag, Bluemark, and others.

The most standard unit seems to be around $100 to $150 dollars per unit. I should point out that one unit can be used for multiple aircraft.

These companies haven’t forsaken the home builder and have developed board units that can be easily incorporated into one’s build.

What we’re also seeing with these units is that they are utilizing a combination of cellular signal and the Bluetooth 5 system and are achieving up to 1-kilometer ranges from these modules.

We will be covering some of these modules in more detail in future articles.

Before we move on to FRIAs, let’s talk about these modules just a bit more.


The FAA’s solution for those who make their own aircraft or home builds is it to ask the pilot to take on an extra burden.

Similar to those who would be considered to own legacy equipment such as the aforementioned Phantom 4 Pro. Compliance will come at a cost.

This is a sore point among pilots, for sure. The argument is that asking for the burden to be on the pilots is unlawful. The fact is, it is not!

As the overseeing regulatory body, the FAA can request that those who take part in a willing activity, here it would be drone flight, should have and maintain the equipment necessary for the safety of such activity.

It’s actually a well-known practice of these types of regulating bodies to go with such a route, as it does fall under their purview and has been deemed lawful by the courts.

That’s not to say it’s not a tough pill to swallow, as it is.

Dronetag DRI RID module

As we can see, companies such as Dronetag are working to make compliance possible no matter the system you’re flying.

Shopping for these modules may get muddy as we are seeing each company introduce multiple units for consumers.

Whereas the one pictured above is for home-built FPV-style systems, the first one pictured is more for Commercial operators and offers additional features.

Most pilots who require a module for Legacy style equipment would most likely be okay with this product below.

Dronetag Mini RID module

This is the smaller Dronetag MINI. The Board unit runs around $50 to $70 dollars, but the Mini is around $150 to $200. The Larger Beacon model is around $250 to $300.

As we see, getting the right module for yourself may be a decent investment when previously, there was none.

However, when we look through the History of Aviation, we see that this sort of thing has come up several times in the manned industry where new safety equipment and their cost were required, and the cost of said equipment was the burden of the pilot or carrier.


Our third option for flying and being within Remote ID compliance is to fly without RID at all. I know, that was tease, as there is a very big catch attached.

So, what is a FRIA? A FRIA is an FAA-recognized identification area (FRIAs). Hence the acronym.

These areas are most likely part of a flying club such as those owned and operated by AMA.

These areas usually require a membership, and the pilot plays by their rules.

These areas tend to be small and oriented more toward the model flyer.

As of this time, there are only a very limited amount of these sites, and it is unknown if more will be made available. As an option for drone flights, you will find these areas very confining to your aircraft’s abilities.

The Apps

Nothing in this world would please me more than to go into the App store and find a category listed Karen Apps. For one, it’s funny! Also, what better term could you really come up with?

Before you get offended, this is the definition right from Merriam-Webster.

The term Karen has many different meanings depending on the context; It can refer to a group of peoples or languages in Myanmar. However, it is more commonly used as a pejorative slang term for a white woman who is obnoxious, entitled, angry, and often racist. A Karen uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors, especially those of marginalized groups or service workers.

With the rollout of RID, we have the rollout of the very Apps that will be used to monitor RID. Apps such as DroneScanner, Remote ID, OpenDroneID. There will be and might already be many others.

During testing with some of these units, I learned personally that they work as described and provide amazing, nearly pinpoint accuracy of the drone’s position and the ground station. Well, within just a foot or two.

So, if you’re broadcasting your RID signal and someone with one of these apps turns it on, they will know where you are and be able to find you.

Now it is argued that this is to protect the greater good and their right to privacy. This sounds like a good thing on the surface.

However, just below that surface, we can easily find it very murky, as there is the question of the pilot’s privacy and safety.

Mind you, this was a part of the above-mentioned lawsuit. It was determined that the pilot, by being in public, would have no justified sense of privacy.

No matter, as I pointed out earlier, there were some very good arguments, and they should have at least been heard.

I also know if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably a bit steamy. As a drone pilot, this all makes me a bit steamy too.

Let me play devil’s advocate, though, for a moment, commenting as someone who knows nothing about the regulations or drones.

I’m washing dishes in my sink; I notice out the window a drone hovering. It’s there for a moment or two, and then away it goes. It moves up and over to the backside of my property.

I lose sight of it from my sink window and follow it from inside the house. I catch sight of this drone again. It’s just above my backyard and has stopped to hover again.

A moment passes by, and then it’s off into the sky again, and I no longer see it. Now I am concerned.

What was it doing? Was it watching me? Was it spying on me? How long was it there? I should probably call someone.

That doesn’t seem right!

For anyone who’s in the drone industry, the description above is pretty self-explanatory. The neighbors would seem to be having a property photoshoot conducted.

For this individual, though, it is a scary and frightening drone encounter.

Let’s take it a step further.

Our person calls the local police to report their drone sighting and how they felt about it – fear and many unanswered questions.

The police respond and find a drone pilot packing his things and getting ready to leave the area.

The police ask what they’re doing, and it comes out they were just collecting shots for the neighbor’s house.

The police then inform our scared individual, and there’s a good laugh.

This is the outcome in a perfect world. Everybody involved is now aware of what was happening, and it becomes something to have a chuckle over.

Now, what if we don’t get our perfect world ending?

The police go around and find nothing. They have to go back and let our individual know; they have no idea what was going on.

They are unable to relieve that person’s fears and provide some explanation. This, more often than not, is how these events turn out.

That person who was just washing their dishes and had a good fright never got any closure and will most likely have a hard time with drones from then on.

This is certainly where one of these RID apps could be handy. Within the RID information will be an explanation for the flight, something you, the pilot, will need to update for each flight.

In our typical end to one of these scary situations, the individual or the police could check the app and maybe locate the pilot or at least be able to know why the flight was being conducted.

So, in that principle, the apps benefit everyone involved.

Yes, they could be used for good. Which is good. Let’s be balanced and fair, though.

Will these apps be only used for such purposes, or will the many bad actors in the world use these apps as a means to do bad things?

Our world is far from a utopia, and there is always someone who will want something without working for it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. That I’m simply referring to bad actors who will use these apps as a means to rob pilots of their expensive equipment.

There are certainly those, and it will be up to every pilot out there to figure out how best to deal with that.

Beyond that, though, just straight-up robbery, we’re already seeing scam and grift sort of things happening due to what RID allows.


Such as this website:

This website plans to utilize the information being broadcast by the mandated RID system to try and sell airspace.

Once again, I’ll let them tell you in their own words:

We envision people being able to monitor their own airspace. The power has always lied with the people. We need the ability to report privacy & security issues in real-time, with concrete proof of intrusions/violations. The ability to toll commercial drones to use your airspace is not only groundbreaking, but it will also produce revenue streams needed to pay for the infrastructure. Once complete, future revenue can be used for various government, local, tribal and private advantages. *Pending federal approval.

In essence, this company is claiming that by proxy of a homeowner, they can not only monitor the airspace above their home but be able to charge for its use.

As someone who’s been in this industry a long time, we’ve seen this before.

This is no different than when certain companies and homeowners fell for geofencing their properties. It was a scam then, and it remains a scam today.

When it comes to the National Airspace System, there is only one, only one regulating body, and that is the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA has the sole authority to monitor and say what happens in the NAS.

This is not an authority they can share or give away. Any company claiming they have such control is either lying or very misinformed.

Be prepared, as we will see many new scams come out with the introduction of Remote ID. Targeting not just pilots and the industry but non-pilots as well

My View

When I think about Remote ID, the first thought I have is: “we sure could have done a much better job of it.”

As the current Final Ruling stands, it is more trouble than it is worth. It in no way helps in incorporating unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System.

Safety was thrown to the side for the National Security Agency and its security concerns. Big money played a major role in its conception, with a focus on monetizing the sub 400ft airspace.

It will place an unneeded burden on old and new pilots alike, leading to a decline in new pilots getting into the industry.

Is there a need for Remote ID? I still firmly believe that there is a need for such a system.

A system that not only allows for the monitoring of unmanned aircraft below the 400ft level but for it to be incorporated into the manned levels of 500ft and below.

A system that allows those who need to know what’s in the air around them.

I also believe that such a system should be able to quickly verify the ownership and registration of said UAV to the proper authorities, who may need to have access to that information for whatever varied reason they can provide.

I do not see any reason for anyone with an app on their device being able to know my location down to a few feet and be able to interrupt me while flying, as that takes away from my situational awareness and could lead to bad things happening with my aircraft in flight or some sort of altercation on the ground.

Now the big question. Will I be complying with Remote ID?

Yes! For all of its faults and shortcomings, yes, come September 16th, 2023, all aircraft I own will be RID compliant.

As a Part 107 Commercial UAV Pilot, I have no choice.

It’s my livelihood, and as a Part 107 pilot, I am expected to lead by example. I am also expected to follow the rules as they are written, whether I agree with them or not.

Once again, since the very beginning of Aviation, all pilots have been expected to carry themselves as an example of self-governance.

We are given many freedoms regarding our interpretation of the regulations and our ability to decide whether a flight can be conducted safely or not.

Safety is the most overriding factor in what any aviator does. Be it manned or unmanned, you are the Pilot in Command, and the safety of your equipment is as well. The addition of RID does not change that.

Fly Safe, Fly Always, Always Fly Safe!