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Our Hobbyist Alternative to Remote ID: VLOS ID


Oct 26, 2019
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There are 57 days left to comment - if there is a fast consensus on doing this, we can get some of the drone youtubers engaged to get the word out. For now this is for consideration and comment.

We need to group together with our concerns about Remote ID and propose a workable alternative or we'll get nowhere. There are about 1000 comments and most of them are unproductive at best.

I would suggest we 'brand' our alternative so that comments to the FAA can reference this consistent group of concerns and an alternative.

My suggestion is that we propose this VLOS ID system to the FAA as an alternative to Remote ID for hobbyists

Technical solution: Software-limited flight rules of 200 ft vertical from operator and 3500 ft horizontal, no internet broadcast requirement but a local RF broadcast requirement.

VLOS is realistically impractical beyond some distance - this would establish that standard. No one realistically can see their drone out a mile in distance.
The 200 ft vertical limit provides an enforceable safe zone, where VLOS ID drones wont be challenging Remote ID drone airspace
Local RF Broadcast (position, heading, FCC ID) from the drone would provide data to Remote ID drones to avoid airspace conflicts. Also a back-door enforcement tool since Remote ID drones will be on the internet - they can detect a VLOS ID drone flying outside of it's VLOS 'bubble' and report it to the FAA

Unworkable Remote ID concerns:
Internet Requirement for flight - anyone with a cell phone knows how unreliable they are - signal comes and goes. Making drone flight dependent on 4G or other cellular technologies is expensive, poor performance, poor reliability and outright bans flights in a significant fraction of the US.
Not that I disagree with what you propose but getting any kind of agreement on a "branded" approach like you suggest is never going to happen before the March 1st cutoff date the FAA has set for Remote ID comments. There's no centralized leadership, too many opinions, not enough time to see weaknesses in the finished product and MOST IMPORTANTLY surely no where near enough time to gather enough sign-ups to get the FAA's attention.

After spending quite a bit of time beginning to draft my own list of concerns, I stumbled across Bruce Simpsons suggested approach that addresses all of these concerns.

Any chance of influencing what the FAA is going mandate really depends on how many pilots sign up to his proposal.

His idea(s) are outlined in the link I've added to this forum in the Skydio 2 thread entitled
"Wait before replying to the FAA Remote ID proposal"

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