Saturday, November 27, 2021

FAA – Policy statement for reporting geometric altitude of GCS for RID

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Department of 
 Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Statement of policy.

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SUMMARY: This action clarifies FAA policy regarding the existing 
 accuracy requirements for the reported geometric altitude of the 
 control station of a standard remote identification unmanned aircraft. 

The FAA describes one acceptable way producers of unmanned aircraft can 
 meet the minimum performance requirement for the accuracy of the 
 control station's reported geometric altitude. The FAA determined that 
 this action is necessary to inform developers of means of compliance of 
 one potential pathway to meet the performance requirement for the 
control station's reported geometric altitude.

DATES: The effective date of this policy is November 22, 2021.

ADDRESSES: For information on where to obtain copies of this statement 
 of policy and other information related to this statement, see 
``Additional Information'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
 this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Siegmund, Policy and Innovation 
 Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave. SW, 
Washington, DC 20591; telephone 1-844-FLY-MY-UA (1-844-359-6981); 
email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview

A. Background

    On January 15, 2021, the FAA published a final rule titled ``Remote 
Identification of Unmanned Aircraft'' (Remote ID final rule) with an 
 original effective date of March 16, 2021.\1\ \2\ The Remote ID final 
rule requires the remote identification of unmanned aircraft in the 
 airspace of the United States. Remote identification is the capability 
of an unmanned aircraft, in flight, to provide certain identification, 
location, and performance information that people on the ground and 
 other airspace users can receive.
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    \1\ Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft final rule, 86 FR 
4390 (Jan. 15, 2021).
    \2\ On March 10, 2021, the FAA published a correction to the 
Remote ID final rule in accordance with the memorandum titled 
Regulatory Freeze Pending Review (86 FR 7424, Jan 28, 2021), 
 delaying the final rule's effective date to April 21, 2021 (86 FR 
13629).
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In addition to the operating requirements, the Remote ID final rule 
 provides the design and production requirements for the production of 
 remote identification unmanned aircraft or broadcast modules. These 
 requirements describe the performance standards for remote 
 identification without establishing a specific means or process for 
 regulated entities to follow.\3\ A person designing or producing a 
standard remote identification unmanned aircraft or remote 
 identification broadcast module must show that the unmanned aircraft or 
broadcast module meets the performance requirements of the rule by 
following an FAA-accepted means of compliance. A means of compliance 
submitted to the FAA for acceptance
 must show that an unmanned aircraft or broadcast module produced using 
it would meet the performance requirements of title 14 of the Code of 
 Federal Regulations part 89 (14 CFR part 89). This policy statement 
 only addresses the performance requirements and compliance path for the 
 standard remote identification unmanned aircraft.
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\3\ A standard remote identification unmanned aircraft 
 broadcasts identification, location, and performance information of 
 the unmanned aircraft and control station. This unmanned aircraft 
 broadcasts the remote identification message elements directly from 
theunmanned aircraft from takeoff to shutdown. A remote 
identification broadcast module broadcasts identification, location, 
and take-off information; the broadcast module may be a separate 
device that is attached to an unmanned aircraft, or a feature built 
into the aircraft. 86 FR 4391 (Jan. 15, 2021).
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Part 89 requires the following 8 message elements to be broadcast 
 from a standard remote identification unmanned aircraft: 
(1) Unmanned 
aircraft unique identifier; 
(2) an indication of the control station's 
latitude and longitude; 
(3) an indication of the control station's 
altitude; 
(4) an indication of the unmanned aircraft's latitude and 
 longitude; 
(5) an indication of the unmanned aircraft's altitude; 
(6) a 
time mark; 
(7) an indication of the emergency status of the unmanned 
aircraft system; and 
(8) velocity. 
Additionally, all standard remote 
identification unmanned aircraft must meet certain minimum requirements 
regarding the transmission of the message elements including the 
minimum performance requirements related to positional accuracy, 
geometric altitude accuracy, message latency, and message transmission 
rate. These minimum performance requirements for the message elements 
are design requirements; any specific test method for ensuring that the 
unmanned aircraft design meets this accuracy requirement will be 
reviewed and evaluated by the FAA as a part of the means of compliance 
 acceptance process.

Part 89 establishes the accuracy requirement for the reported 
 geometric altitude for the control station of a standard remote 
 identification unmanned aircraft. Specifically, Sec.  89.310(h)(2) 
 requires that the reported geometric altitude of the control station 
must be accurate to within 15 feet of the true geometric altitude, with 
95 percent probability. 

The Remote ID final rule did not specify how a 
 means of compliance should address this requirement. In order to guide 
producers to develop standard remote identification unmanned aircraft 
that meet the FAA's standards, this policy statement informs developers 
of one potential means of compliance that would be acceptable to the 
FAA to demonstrate compliance with meeting the geometric altitude 
requirement. Persons developing a means of compliance for a standard 
remote identification unmanned aircraft in accordance with 14 CFR part 
89, subpart E, may incorporate the method described in this policy 
statement as part of their means of compliance. The FAA emphasizes, 
however, that other ways of demonstrating compliance with Sec.  
89.310(h)(2) may be acceptable.

B. Statement of Policy: Acceptable Method

This statement of policy describes one acceptable way, but not the 
 only way, that the accuracy requirements for the reported geometric 
altitude of the control station of a standard remote identification 
unmanned aircraft can meet the minimum performance requirement in Sec.  
89.310(h)(2). The FAA is not requiring developers of means of 
compliance to include the specific method provided in this statement of 
policy.

A means of compliance that requires the unmanned aircraft system 
 (UAS) control station position source to be a global navigation 
satellite system (GNSS) receiver utilizing Global Positioning System 
(GPS) and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) satellite signals to 
determine the geometric altitude of the control station would be an 
acceptable method for a means of compliance to demonstrate that the 
unmanned aircraft built according to its specifications would meet the 
accuracy requirement in Sec.  89.310(h)(2). The WAAS Performance 
Analysis report from the second quarter of 2021 shows that GNSS 
receivers utilizing GPS with a satellite-based augmentation system 
indicates a worst-site 95% vertical accuracy of 5 feet for the 
continental United States.\4\ This report demonstrates that GNSS 
receivers utilizing GPS/WAAS can achieve the necessary vertical 
position accuracy across the National Airspace System to meet the 
reported geometric altitude requirement of Sec.  89.310(h)(2).
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    \4\ https://www.nstb.tc.faa.gov/DisplayArchive.htm.
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The FAA recognizes that UAS technology, which includes remote identification technology, is continually evolving and improving. 
Accordingly, the FAA expects that other methods may be available to 
 meet this requirement other than the one mentioned in this policy 
statement, and nothing about this statement should preclude developers 
of means of compliance from including other technological methods of 
meeting the vertical accuracy requirements for the reported geometric 
 altitude of the control station. This statement of policy solely 
addresses one method of demonstrating compliance with Sec.  
89.310(h)(2); note that any means of compliance submitted to the FAA 
must also adequately address the other requirements in part 89, 
subparts D and E, in order to be accepted by the FAA.

II. Additional Information

A. Electronic Access and Filing

A copy of the Remote ID final rule as well as all background 
 materials may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov using the 
docket number listed above. A copy of this statement of policy will 
also be placed in the docket for that rule. Electronic retrieval help  and guidelines are available on the website. It is available 24 hours 
each day, 365 days each year. 

An electronic copy of this document may 
also be downloaded from the Office of the Federal Register's website at 
 https://www.FederalRegister.gov and the Government Publishing Office's 
 website at https://www.GovInfo.gov.

Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal 
 Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677. 

Requestors must identify the docket or amendment number of this 
 rulemaking.

B. Integration of This Policy Into FAA Orders and Publications

As appropriate, the FAA will incorporate this policy into 
 applicable FAA Orders and publications, such as Advisory Circulars, as 
 they are updated. The agency will also continually review this policy 
in the interest of aviation safety. The FAA reserves the right to 
update this policy if the agency collects or receives additional 
 information.

This policy does not have the force and effect of law and is not 
 meant to bind the public in any way, it is intended only to provide 
 clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or 
 agency policies.

Issued in Washington, DC, on or about November 16, 2021.
 
Michael C. Romanowski,
Aviation Safety Director, Policy and Innovation, Aircraft Certification 
Service.

[FR Doc. 2021-25366 Filed 11-19-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P


https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-11-22/html/2021-25366.htm