ICYMI: InterDrone Policy Day – Remote ID, Waivers and More

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In case you missed it: before this year’s InterDrone conference kicked off with keynotes this morning an international array of speakers offered intensive training and the Policy Day track began, featuring discussion on some of the most important topics facing the drone industry today.  Here are some of the interesting sound bites from two of those sessions.


Remote ID for drones is a complicated – and contentious – issue.  The Remote ID (RID) NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) is scheduled to be published in September, but what’s the likelihood of that happening?  The panel featured some of the top  legal and commercial drone experts in the industry – moderated by drone journalist Chris Korody, author of Dronin’ On, who has followed the issue closely.

Panelists Andrew Elefant, Director of Legal & Policy at Kittyhawk; Andy Thurling, CTO of NUAIR Alliance; and Matt Fannelli, Director of Strategy at Skyward discussed the status of the ASTM standard, the FAA’s request for input, and when Remote ID for drones is likely to become a reality.

The general consensus of the panel was that there is no real certainty on when Remote ID regulation will be issued – although rumor has it that a proposal could be issued this month.  Panelists commented that with a  push toward “Privacy but not Anonymity,” and industry input, the burden on drone operators should not be extreme.

“Much of the work will be done by the Skywards, the Kittyhawks, and the AirMaps of the world,” Skyward’s Fanelli commented.  As to when Remote ID will be implemented, Fannelli gave a broad estimate: “The general feeling is that this technology looks to be implemented in the next year or two.”


All three of the presenters in this session have had experience with waivers – either receiving them for operations beyond what is generally allowed, or helping to establish standards for granting them.

Richard Lopez, National sUAS Operation Executive at Hensell Phelps discussed their recent waiver for operations over people;  Matt Dunlevy, CEO of North Dakota-based SkySkopes talked about their international experience with flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS.)

Lorenzo Murzilli, Program Manager  of FOCA (the Swiss CAA) and a major influencer in global drone regulations, came at the issue from another side.  Murzilli gave an explanation on how standards can be used to help develop and streamline the waiver process.  Known as one of the founders of Specific Operations Risk Assessment, or SORA, which serves as an international framework for drone regulations.

Five or six years ago, Murzilli commented, regulators began to work with the idea that permission to fly should be linked to  safety.  “People agreed that that was a good idea if we can standardize risk assessment: so we standardized risk assessment,” he said.  Far from being inflexible, says Murzilli, the SORA framework is designed to work globally.  “These are really guidelines or guidance to allow risk assessment authorities to change and adapt to their particular environments.”











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