March 27, 2017 – DJI, the world’s leading maker of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), Monday proposed an electronic identification framework for UAS that would allow authorities in the United States to identify drone owners when necessary while also respecting their privacy.
“DJI understands that accountability is a key part of responsible drone use, and we have outlined a proposal that balances the privacy of drone operators with the legitimate concerns authorities have about some drone operations,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs. “This is another example of how the UAS industry is innovating solutions to emerging concerns, and we look forward to working with other stakeholders on how to implement the best possible system.”
Last year, the United States Congress directed the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop approaches to remotely identifying the operators and owners of unmanned aircraft, and set deadlines for doing so over the next two years. DJI has outlined a concept in which each drone would transmit its location as well as a registration number or similar identification code, using inexpensive radio equipment that is already on board many drones today and that could be adopted by all manufacturers.
Anyone with the proper receiver could obtain those transmissions from the drone, but only law enforcement officials or aviation regulators would be able to use that registration number to identify the registered owner. This system would be similar to automotive license plates, which allow anyone to identify a nearby vehicle they believe is operating improperly, but which can only be traced to their owner and operator by authorities.
“The best solution is usually the simplest,” DJI wrote in a white paper on the topic, which can be downloaded at this link. “The focus of the primary method for remote identification should be on a way for anyone concerned about a drone flight in close…