Meeting Minutes of the January 2020 Advisory Committee

Meeting Minutes of the Keystone Clippers Advisory Committee

January 7, 2020

The first meeting of the Keystone Clippers Advisory Committee (KCAC) for 2020 was held at the Brick Oven on Clay Pike at 6:00 pm and called to order by Club President Mike Shepherd. There were seven (7) Club Officers present. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent FAA Remote ID NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making – or NPRM) and the potential effect it will have on the Club and on the RC hobby in general if passed. Remote ID is the ability of a drone (anything that takes flight) to provide identification information that can be received by other parties.

Vice President Jim Kealey had been collecting information and data published by various sources on the internet since the NPRM was made public on December 26, 2019. He presented his findings via email to the Officers over the past week and requested a Committee meeting to be held immediately since the FAA has only allowed until March 2, 2020 to receive comments from the public. If this ruling becomes law it will require remote identification of all unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – this includes all fixed wing aircraft and anything that takes flight weighing between 0.55 and 55.00 pounds.

President Mike Shepherd announced to the Committee members last week that the KCAC meeting should be held ASAP to discuss his findings and how to disseminate the information the Club.

Jim explained the three ways drone pilots will be able to meet the identification requirements of the Remote ID rule:

Standard Remote Identification UAS
UAS under this category would be required to broadcast “message elements” directly from the UAV, as well as be connected to the internet and simultaneously transmit that same data, either from the UAV or from a “Ground Station” (an ambiguous term at this point with no physical description). If internet isn’t available for the flight, the flight is still permitted as long as the UAV maintains its ability to broadcast the data.

Limited Remote Identification UAS
This category would include UAV that do not have the ability to broadcast data, yet have “ground stations” that can connect to the internet and transmit the data. Flights would have to remain connected to the internet and are limited to operations within visual line of site at no more than 400′ from the ground station.

UAS without remote identification
UAS flying under this category would be limited to such areas as AMA fields, or other “FAA-Recognized Identification Areas” (FRIA). FRIA would be an area run by an FAA recognized Community Based Organization (CBO – (the AMA is an example of a CBO)). Any UAS flown under this category “must operate within visual line of sight and within the boundaries of a FRIA”…… boundary terminology remains ambiguous, unless it’s the same as Limited Remote, we don’t know (neither do they). It is postulated that as many as 10% the AMA Club flying sites will not qualify under the category.

Furthermore, each aircraft you intend to fly will have to be registered with the FAA at a cost of $5.00 each, and each UAS pilot will be required to pass a 25 question test administered by the FAA at some specified location.

At the meeting, Jim was appointed by the Club President as the single source for gathering FAA information for the Club which will be transmitted to the Club Secretary for distribution to the Club Membership. This information will be posted and updated regularly on the Club website under the FAA Remote ID Info tab on the home page menu.

Jim pointed out that the FAA is required to read all public comments received on the subject NPRM and stressed that it’s necessary for every Club member to send a message to the FAA, state senators and congressmen to petition the FAA to reconsider the Remote ID NPRM and its impact on the AMA and other Community Based Organizations (CBO), manufacturers, STEM development, etc. A template of that letter is provided on the website under the FAA Remote ID Info tab on the home page menu.

This template can be personalized to express your own thoughts and opinions on this issue – but please be aware that what you say will reflect on the entire UAS community, so your wording needs to appropriate to get the attention is deserves.

The meeting was adjourned at 730 pm.

Eric Haberman, Secretary, KCRC