Why Remote IDs Are Important for Drone Authentication  - Magzinenow

Why Remote IDs Are Important for Drone Authentication 

The aviation industry has experienced unprecedented change thanks to unarmed aircraft systems (UAS) or drones. The Federal Aviation Administration, the largest transportation agency of the US government, is committed to integrating drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). The agency’s top priority is security and safety, and remote identification of drones is vital to the integration efforts.  

Remote identification or remote ID allows the FAA, law enforcement, and other agencies to find the control station whenever a drone flies where it is not allowed or in an unsafe manner. It is the core of security and safety groundwork for complex drone operations. This article unpacks the importance of drone authentication and everything you need to know.  

What Is a Remote ID? 

Remote identification is a system that allows drones to transmit location and identification information of automated drone flights to a remote ID broadcast module or remote ID Service Provider (RSP). The data can be accessed by authorized personnel such as law enforcement agencies and other authorities. It helps them to track drones in flight.  

Remote identification is an electronic license plate for drones that allows authorities to identify who is driving them. A physical plate will be useless on an airborne drone. Conversely, remote identification will send license plate information through a radio signal to receivers on the ground. So, it makes more sense to have them than physical plates.  

The US government has been at the forefront of creating remote IDs since 2016. This was around when security agencies became categorical that they would not support allowing drones to fly complicated missions without a way to identify whoever was flying them. The FAA liaised with stakeholders in the drone realm to learn about the solutions to the challenge and first proposed rules in 2019. They later revised the rules based on more than 53,000 comments from interested parties and individuals.  

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The final results of the rules reflect a great amount of input from people who drive drones for fun and work. From law enforcement agencies that respond to drone operations to drone industry groups, everyone’s opinion was considered.  

Why Is Remote ID Crucial?  

There are several reasons why remote identification is vital for drone authentication. Below is a breakdown of the reasons: 

Easy Drone Location  

One of the most important reasons remote identification is vital is that it enables authorities to identify and locate drones that may be subverting given guidelines. This includes drones flying dangerously, posing a risk to public safety, and those flying in restricted locations.  

If a drone is flying near an airplane or in an unauthorized area, concerned agencies can track the drone and take appropriate action. Also, a drone engaged in illegal activities such as smuggling can easily be located, and government agencies will take legal action against the perpetrators.  


Another major benefit of remote IDs is that they help ensure the safety of drones in flight. A remote ID device ensures a drone is detectable to all air traffic and its participants. The device signals the exact position in flight to determine the precise position of the drone and relays that data to the necessary parties.  

The drone and its flight plan are visible to other pilots and airspace authorities. By allowing authorities to track and identify drones, remote ID ensures drones are operated safely and that collisions with aircraft are prevented.  


The remote ID is also vital for security purposes. Remote ID gives information about the drone and whoever is flying it. Authorities are also able to track and trace the movement of the drones. As such, activities such as illegal surveillance and smuggling are hindered. Officers who notice such activities can swoop in and take the right action.  

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The final rule on remote identification requires most of the drones operating in the US airspace to have remote ID capability. Remote identification will provide information about the drones in flight, such as the altitude, identity, and location of the drone and its control station.  

Authorized personnel from public safety organizations may request a drone’s owner identity from the FAA. Remote ID will go a long way for regulatory purposes. Authorities will easily enforce rules and regulations and easily identify and track drones in flight.  

Integration into the National Airspace 

The FAA, on December 2020, announced two final rules that allowed the expansion of and integration of drones into the NAS. The remote ID Rule establishes that drones must broadcast a remote identification signal. On the other hand, routine operations of small drones above uninvolved people and at night will be permitted if a specific criterion is met. These will go a long way in allowing authorities to integrate drones into the national airspace.  

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Wrapping Up 

Remote identification is a part of drone operations that plays a key role in ensuring the security and safety of the airspace. It allows authorities to track and monitor the movement of drones in real-time and take the requisite action in case of a security or safety risk. The mitigation of private concern and public trust in drones’ responsible use will finally be achieved through remote ID.  

Adil Memon

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