Print Version | Newsletter Home | NAAA Home
National Agricultural Aviation Association eNewsletter
Voice of the Aerial Application Industry
January 14, 2021
FAA Drone Remote Identification Rule Finalized; Operations Over People and at Night Allowed

NAAA continues to work on UAS issues stressing safety to manned aircraft by advocating for technology that will eventually evolve into a traffic management system directing UAS away from manned aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 14 CFR Part 89 final rule on the remote identification (RID) of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is expected to be published in the Federal Register this month. The rule goes into effect the same time as a rule that amends 14 CFR Part 107 to allow operations of UAS over people and at night.

Remote Identification is hailed as the next incremental step toward further integration of UAS in the National Airspace System. It has been further described as a digital license plate and will be helpful to law enforcement and regulators. There have been situations where unmanned aircraft were not operated legally; however, no enforcement action was taken because it could not be determined with certainty who was operating the UAS or where it was operating. The new rule requires drones to be equipped with technology that will determine a drone’s location and the time it is operating in specific locations. NAAA has been active in advocating drones half a pound or greater be tracked and identified long before the FAA issued its proposed rule in the spring of 2020. You can read those NAAA comments here and the corresponding March 2020 eNewsletter article here.

NAAA has also been pushing for the FAA to require drone sense-and-avoid technology and ADS-B technology to better ensure the safety of manned aircraft from drones; however, that is not a use that will be required as a result of this rule. Under this RID rule, drones will be required to broadcast a signal that includes, among other information, the UAS’s ID serial number, latitude/longitude, altitude, velocity, emergency status and time mark. The identification of the owner/operator of the serial-numbered UAS will only be available to law enforcement and regulatory agencies.

The specific frequency band of the broadcast signal is not specified other than it must be compatible with personal wireless devices such as tablets or phones using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The signal strength is required to be optimized to allow reception by as many devices as possible. With only a few exceptions, RID is required for all drones over 0.55 pounds operating outside of an enclosed structure. This is a requirement that NAAA has promoted and was successful in obtaining.

Included in this rule is a prohibition against most UAS using ADS-B Out. This is to prevent the ADS-B system from becoming overwhelmed. NAAA continues to encourage UAS to incorporate ADS-B In, which would enhance safety by informing the UAS operator when an ADS-B out equipped manned aircraft is in the area and obligate them to give the right of way to the manned aircraft as required by Part 107. Newly manufactured unmanned aircraft must meet the requirements of this rule beginning 18 months after publication of the rule in the Federal Register. The operational compliance date for previously manufactured and newly manufactured unmanned aircraft is 30 months after publication.

UAS Operations over People will be allowed by the amendment to 14 CFR 107. The operations have to fit into one of four categories. Each category has different requirements and risk mitigations. The mitigations range from weight limitations to rotating parts being covered to the requirement for a Part 21 airworthiness certificate. Most categories require RID. To read the full mitigation requirements and categories, click here.

UAS Operations at Night are also allowed, which was previously prohibited by Part 107. To qualify for night operations, The UAS must have strobe type anti-collision lighting that is visible for at least 3 miles. The remote pilot operating the UAS is required to have an updated knowledge test to ensure familiarity with the risks and appropriate mitigations for nighttime operations. To read more about UAS operations at night, click here.

NAAA commented on the over-people and at-night rule in March of 2019 when it was first proposed. You can view those comments here. NAAA comments were specifically mentioned in the FAA’s final rule:

NAAA voiced concern about pilot difficulty of spotting a small, unmanned aircraft while the pilot is operating at a very low altitude in what is already a high task load environment. They pointed to a 2015 test conducted by the Colorado Agricultural Aviation Association, which determined that it was difficult for pilots who conduct agricultural aviation operations to detect and track a small, unmanned aircraft at the same time as maneuvering their aircraft for agricultural operations. Pilots operating manned aircraft at low altitudes would experience difficulty in identifying small, unmanned aircraft operating at night, but as discussed previously, numerous mitigations exist to decrease the likelihood of a midair collision.
While the FAA did not completely agree with all of NAAA’s comments, they were definitely taken into consideration.

NAAA continues to work on UAS issues stressing safety to manned aircraft by advocating for technology that will eventually evolve into a traffic management system directing UAS away from manned aircraft. Currently, ADS-B is the only available electronic technology for traffic deconfliction. NAAA encourages manned aircraft to install ADS-B In and Out and for UAS to have ADS-B In. In 2020 the leading drone manufacturer—DJI—started installing ADS-B receivers in all of its UAS. NAAA also pushes for UAS to have high-visibility paint schemes and strobe lighting for both day and night operations.

<< Previous Article Next Article >>
Share this article:  LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Add a CommentAdd a Comment
View CommentsView Comments ()
This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
NAAA Leads Pesticide Use Coalition to Save Many Crops’ Dependence on Effective Use of Paraquat
National Air and Space Museum Greenlights Installation of Dusty Crophopper Ag Plane
NAAA Closes Out 2020 and Begins 2021 Comments to EPA to Protect Pesticide Products for Aerial Application
FAA Drone Remote Identification Rule Finalized; Operations Over People and at Night Allowed
NAAA Comments to FAA on Companies Using Drones Requesting Exemptions from Aviation Safety Regulations
NAAA Signs on to GA Industry Letter Requesting a Third Extension to FAR Relief
Looking for Ways to Market Your Business and the Ag Aviation Industry? Give the Gift of Agricultural Aviation
Limited Attendance for NAAA and NAAREF Board Meetings Feb. 11-13 Due to Hotel Restrictions
Update Your Information for 2021 Membership Directory
Set Yourself Up for New Year’s Success by Renewing Your NAAA Membership
In Case You Missed It!
Ag Aviation's Centennial Year Kicks Off with New Trailer
NAAA Presidents Appear on Business of Ag Podcast
EPA’s Aircraft Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards in Effect as of Jan. 1 (Current Ag Aircraft Outside of Rule)
Beware of Jet Fuel/Diesel Fuel Deliveries with Possible Diesel Exhaust Fluid Contamination
Pilots Approved for Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine with 48-Hour Flight Restriction

January 15

Mississippi PAASS Program (Virtual)

Vicki Morgan

(662) 455-0070


January 19

Oklahoma PAASS Program

Cimarron National Golf Club

Guthrie, OK

Sandy Wells

(405) 431-0381


Full Calendar of Events


COVID-19 Resources
Ag Aviation Expo Hotel Info
Agricultural Aviation Mag.
NAAA/NAAREF Safety Videos
Tower Outreach Tools
Tower Marking Warning Letters
Shooting-Response Checklist
NAAA UAV Safety Stuffers
NAAA UAV Encounter Checklist
NAAA Media Relations Kit
NAAA Award Nominations
Ag Aviation 101 Presentation
NAAA Professional Operating Guidelines Booklet
Aerial Applicator’s Manual
Contact Us
Search Back Issues
National Agricultural Aviation Association, 1440 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 202-546-5722 | Fax: 202-546-5726 |

To ensure delivery of NAAA eNewsletter, please add ''
and '' to your email address book.

If you are still having problems receiving our emails, see our whitelisting page for more details.
National Agricultural Aviation Association