RID, Who Doesn’t Like To Ex Parte?

For the bag holders and Best Buy flyers, “ex parte” is Latin and loosely translates to
a backroom deal, or sometimes just good old-fashioned private, public rulemaking.

This RID thing is going to be great; everyone over at the FAA has been promising the bag-holder unfettered BVLOS (not just the dutiful and rule-abiding Drone Zone using PrecisionHawk anymore), and over people flying. Like getting the veritable keys to the kingdom, or at least the equivalent of sitting b!#ch in the backseat of the 78 Firebird mit Scorpion style sideburns.

For those of you that love yourselves up some draconian data logging, you’ll be getting everything the AOPA was afraid their members would get with ADS-B.

Sure, everyone is all about safety until the lobbying starts. And that is how the not in all
airspace Sky King VFR flight plan was saved. Kind of like how FPV went under the regulatory radar for the RC hobbyist. I don’t even think that would be doable in today’s clampdown climate, as all of the unwavering friends of RC have routinely shafted the hobbyist for a crack at a RID mandate. The payoff is close, maybe even in Santa Mao’s big red bag for some of you?

And who amongst you is not going to appreciate some profit chilling landing fees?

Hopefully, some of us will be lucky enough to pay for Amazon’s infrastructure. Old Jeff Bezos just went through a messy divorce, and the poor dude is down on his luck; why should he have to pay when the FAA has a bag holder who is ready and willing to pay? This lucrative real estate photography market should provide enough landing fees to buy up radar units like burritos at a street fair. Anyway, the ASH biz-plan is to log data for enforcement, both the future and past, and this data logging won’t be in China. (See FOIA #1 below)

Would you like your RID spoofable or hackable?

Everybody has got choices, and you can apparently either go with the FAA enabled
Chinese product mandate reinforcing the monopoly, or door number two, buy Intel’s aftermarket solution. Good news! The RID part of the T-Mobile subscription is free if you purchase the data package. It gives a fellow warm cockles when he thinks about everyone who is just looking out for the RC hobbyist. With all of the love, AMA might even be able to fire the ex-FAA guy who designed the problem in the first place? What kind of Rube would buy the notion that the FAA wanted to regulate toys as not to have to regulate them?

This Quantico RID Demo was almost as well locked down and exclusive as Kim’s 40th, but without the bikinis. (We don’t know for sure as we haven’t seen the photos yet.) How did the cohorts work out technology solutions in private? Who was involved, did you get on the A-list? I have FOIA’d the guest list, Jay Markle’s texts and the who showed up list from the Marine at the gate. (See FOIA #2) There are no community-based standards (insert guffaw here) as far as I know, and the foreign companies got the boot from providing LAANC. Come on, man!

I’m smelling some malarkey or, at the very least, some shenanigans here. Why the tight lips? (See FOIA 3)

Sampling for the latest round of FOIA’s –

  1. The FAA’s ASH Business Plan on page 18 says, “Initiative: Promote UAS
    Compliance through Safety Oversight and Enforcement This initiative will establish
    a pilot program utilizing available remote detection or identification technologies
    for safety oversight from which potential investigations can be developed to enable
    FAA enforcement cases or educational outreach for operators violating FAA
    regulations. Activity: Promote UAS Compliance through Safety Oversight and
    Enforcement This activity will develop a mechanism for the public as well as FSLTT
    to report operations of unmanned aircraft suspected of violating applicable federal
    laws and regulations with data collection activities to occur initially in three
    locations. Target: Establish a Pilot Program Establish a pilot program using available
    UAS remote detection or identification technologies for safety oversight.” The link is
    here. https://www.faa.gov/about/plans_reports/media/2020/ash_business_plan.p
    df 
    At AUVSI Exponential, Michelle Root talked about a similar plan called UAS Digital
    Investigations Program.  Her contact information is AXI Director, Office of
    Investigations Michelle Root, 202-267-1456, [email protected]
    I am requesting the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document for the UAS Digital
    Investigations Program”
  2. I am requesting all text messages or messages on messaging applications similar
    in form to text messages (such as Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter
    DMs, etc.) regarding agency business sent or received by Jay Merkle on his cell
    phone from March 2, 2020 to this present date which have in the message the
    following words:
    “remote identification”
    “rulemaking”
    “rulemaking”
    “exparte”
    “ex parte”
    “RID”
    “remote ID”
    “to the right”
    Text messages regarding “agency business” broadly includes, at the very minimum,
    all communications that would ordinarily comprise federal records per 44 U.S.C. §
    3301(a)(1)(A) which defines federal government records as, ”all recorded
    information . . . appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate
    successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures,
    operations, or other activities of the United States Government or because of the
    informational value of data in them[.]” FOIA cannot be evaded by merely conducting
    agency business on privately owned devices.
  3. The FAA posted a summary of a remote ID demo up
    on regulations.gov   https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2019-1100-
    53261    

    It said, ” If you have questions please contact us at [email protected] or call 844-
    FLY-MY-UA and include “Remote ID demo” in the subject”
    I do have some questions.
  4. Was it open to the public? 
  5. Did anyone from the FAA post this in the Federal Register before it happened so
    members of the public could attend?
  6. Why did the FAA organize this?
  7. Who in the FAA organized it?
  8. Why was it open to only members of law enforcement and security?
  9. Can you provide a copy of the email invitation sent to everyone?
  10. What was discussed during the demonstration? 
  11. Was Casey Nair at the meeting?
  12. Was Jennifer Ambrose at the meeting?
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Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).