The US Obliges by Law to Identify Drones in Public Space

The United States has published a new legislation on drones that return in the public space that will take effect immediately before February 23. 

Although for many it can be synonymous with fun and entertainment, a drone is still a small aircraft that can cause serious problems for aviation safety. A good example of this were the sightings of drones in the vicinity of London Gatwick Airport that was blocked for several days for security reasons.

To avoid these drone incidents and facilitate the identification of aircraft, the authorities of the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA) have published a new rule on drone flight that would take effect in a timely manner. Immediate before February 23.

With this new norm, the authorities force to show a visible external identification number to all drones that are flown in public space. The equivalent to license plates in cars, but applied to unmanned aerial vehicles.

The measure is not new since the same aviation agency launched a similar initiative in 2015, and finally it was approved in 2018. However, this regulation required to register the drones and include the registration number in the drone, but it was not mandatory that it was in a visible place, so that the drone could not be identified in full flight.

Following the Gatwick incidents, the European authorities are also taking action and a standard is being drafted to regulate the growing drone traffic that, according to estimates, will grow considerably during the coming years due to the growing interest in the distribution of products with drones by Amazon and other operators.

In this regard, the delegation of air control of the European Commission said a few weeks ago that it is preparing a new flight rules for drone operation in a safe and controlled manner that would take effect during 2019.

Among this new list of standards for drone flight, a drone registration is contemplated at European level, thus facilitating the identification of these aircraft when they are in restricted flight zones.

The European registration system could include a system of geographical flight limitation similar to those that the user can configure in the drone to establish prohibited flight zones. In this way, the drone would automatically stop before invading one of these restricted areas such as airports and other civil facilities.

All these measures are linked to the permits and flight licenses for drones that are currently essential to pilot a drone in 2019 in public spaces with all the legal and safety guarantees.