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FAA Requiring Visible Drone ID Numbers



 
 
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Old February 18th 19, 06:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default FAA Requiring Visible Drone ID Numbers

https://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/new...-232290-1.html

FAA Requiring Visible Drone ID Numbers

By Kate O'Connor | February 15, 2019

The FAA has posted a new rule requiring owners of small unmanned
aircraft systems (UAS/drones) to display an FAA-issued registration
number on an outside surface of their aircraft. Previously, drone
registration numbers could be placed in an interior compartment as
long as that compartment was accessible without using tools. The new
rule will not change the process for registering drones and, beyond
requiring that the number can “be seen upon visual inspection of the
aircraft’s exterior,” doesn’t specify an external location for the
registration number.

According to the FAA, the rule change stems from concerns expressed by
“law enforcement officials and the FAA’s interagency security
partners” that current UAS registration display practices don’t
address “the risk a concealed explosive device might pose to first
responders upon opening a compartment to find a drone’s registration
number.”

The new rule
https://www.federalregister.gov/docu...anned-aircraft
was issued as an interim final rule and was not previously open to
public comment. “In this case,” the FAA said, “the agency has
determined the importance of mitigating the risk to first responders
outweighs the minimal inconvenience this change may impose on small
drone owners, and justifies implementation without a prior public
comment period.” Now that it has been published, the rule, which is
scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 25, will be open for comments
until March 15, 2019:
https://www.federalregister.gov/docu...anned-aircraft
------------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.federalregister.gov/docu...anned-aircraft


PUBLISHED DOCUMENT
AGENCY:
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation
(DOT).

ACTION:
Interim final rule.

SUMMARY:
This interim final rule requires small unmanned aircraft owners to
display the unique identifier assigned by the FAA upon completion of
the registration process (registration number) on an external surface
of the aircraft. Small unmanned aircraft owners are no longer
permitted to enclose the FAA-issued registration number in a
compartment.

DATES:
This rule is effective February 25, 2019.

Comments must be received on or before March 15, 2019.

ADDRESSES:
Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2018-1084 using any of
the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and
follow the online instructions for sending your comments
electronically.
Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of
Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12-140, West
Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room
W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue
SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays.
Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments
from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts
these comments, without edit, including any personal information the
commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at
http://www.dot.gov/?privacy.

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at
http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions
for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room
W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue
SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Natalie Wilkowske, Aircraft Registration Branch, Civil Aviation
Registry, Flight Standards Service, Registry Bldg., Room 118, 6425 S
Denning Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73169-6937; telephone 1-844-FLY-MYUA;
email .

Start Printed Page 3670
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Executive Summary
In the interim final rule titled “Registration and Marking
Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft” (Registration IFR), the FAA
provided a web-based aircraft registration process for the
registration of small unmanned aircraft to facilitate compliance with
the statutory requirement that all aircraft register prior to
operation. See 80 FR 78593 (December 16, 2015). The Registration IFR
also required that the FAA-issued number assigned during the
registration process be affixed or marked on the small unmanned
aircraft. To grant flexibility to the diverse types of small unmanned
aircraft commercially available, the FAA required that the
registration number marking be readily accessible and maintained in a
condition that is readable and legible upon close visual inspection.
The IFR further explained that markings in an enclosed compartment,
such as a battery compartment, will be considered readily accessible
if they can be accessed without the use of tools. See id at 78627-28.

This interim final rule revises the small unmanned aircraft marking
requirement by requiring the registration number to be marked on the
exterior of the aircraft. The FAA is taking this action to address
concerns expressed by the law enforcement community and the FAA's
interagency security partners regarding the risk a concealed explosive
device poses to first responders who must open a compartment to find
the small unmanned aircraft's registration number.

II. Good Cause for Immediate Adoption
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment
procedures for rules when the agency, for “good cause,” finds that
those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the
public interest.” Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the
rulemaking.

Members of the law enforcement and security communities have expressed
concern that the current rule, which allows registration numbers to be
marked in an enclosed compartment, presents an imminent risk of harm
to first responders. When responding to a security incident involving
an unmanned aircraft, first responders seek to identify the owner or
operator.[1] One way to do that is to obtain the registration number
of the unmanned aircraft. Requiring first responders to physically
handle a small unmanned aircraft to obtain the registration number
poses an unnecessary safety and security risk to those individuals, as
well as to others in the immediate proximity to the aircraft, because
of the potential for the unmanned aircraft to conceal an explosive
device in an enclosed compartment (such as the battery compartment),
designed to detonate upon opening. Requiring small unmanned aircraft
owners to place the registration number on an external surface of the
aircraft helps to mitigate this risk because a first responder can
view the number without handling the aircraft, or by using other
technologies that allow for remote viewing of the aircraft's external
surface.

The FAA had intended to make this change shortly after various members
of the law enforcement and security communities communicated their
concerns in late 2016 and early 2017. The FAA was not able to act
immediately, however, due to litigation challenging the applicability
of the Registration IFR to model aircraft as defined in section 336 of
Public Law 112-95.[2] The FAA was reluctant to act during the pendency
of the litigation because model aircraft comprise the largest segment
of registered unmanned aircraft that would be subject to the revised
marking requirement.[3] The National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA)?[4] resolved the uncertainty when it was
signed into law on December 12, 2017 by restoring the applicability of
the Registration IFR to model aircraft. Having resolved the
applicability issue, the FAA finds that notice and comment would be
contrary to the public interest. After highlighting this vulnerability
in a proposed rule, first responders could be exposed to additional
risk during the notice and comment period as a result of the attention
drawn to the vulnerability. Given that the vulnerability would remain
unmitigated while the proposed rule is being finalized, the agency has
determined there is good cause to issue the rule without seeking prior
notice and comment.

Additionally, the APA requires agencies to delay the effective date of
regulations for 30 days after publication, unless the agency finds
good cause to make the regulations effective sooner. See 5 U.S.C.
553(d). Good cause exists for making this regulation effective 10 days
from the date of publication based on the same rationale in the
previous discussion regarding forgoing notice and comment in
accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

III. Comments Invited
Consistent with the Regulatory Policies and Procedures of the
Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979),
which provide that to the maximum extent possible, operating
administrations for the DOT should provide an opportunity for public
comment on regulations issued without prior notice, the Department
requests comment on this interim final rule. The Department encourages
persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments
containing relevant information, data, or views. The Department will
consider comments received on or before the closing date for comments.
The Department will consider late filed comments to the extent
practicable. This interim final rule may be amended based on comments
received.

IV. Authority for This Rulemaking
The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in
Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes
the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation
Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's
authority.

This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49
U.S.C. 106(f), which establishes the authority of the Administrator to
promulgate regulations and rules; and 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5), which
requires the Administrator to promote safe flight of civil aircraft in
air commerce by prescribing regulations and setting minimum standards
for other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in
air commerce and national security.

This rule is also promulgated pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 44101-44106 and
44110-44113, which require aircraft to Start Printed Page 3671be
registered as a condition of operation and establish the requirements
for registration and registration processes.

V. Discussion of the Interim Final Rule
The Registration IFR established a web-based aircraft registration
process for the registration of small unmanned aircraft to facilitate
compliance with the statutory requirement that all aircraft register
prior to operation. See 80 FR 78593 (December 16, 2015). The
Registration IFR required that the FAA-issued registration number be
affixed or marked on the small unmanned aircraft. To grant flexibility
to the diverse types of small unmanned aircraft commercially
available, the FAA required that the registration number marking be
readily accessible and maintained in a condition that is readable and
legible upon close visual inspection. 14 CFR 48.205(c). The IFR
further explained that markings in an enclosed compartment, such as a
battery compartment, will be considered readily accessible if they can
be accessed without the use of tools. See 80 FR at 78628. The FAA
included this provision in the Registration IFR to accommodate the
television and motion picture industry, which did not want markings to
show in theatrical and television productions, and hobbyists who
wanted to preserve the authenticity of model aircraft that replicate
other aircraft. The FAA also included this provision to allow future
consideration of the use of a serial number as a unique identifier for
purposes of registration. See 80 FR at 78628.

As discussed previously, after the Registration IFR became effective,
the law enforcement community and FAA's interagency security partners
highlighted the risk to first responders when registration numbers are
permitted to be concealed. To address this safety and security risk,
the FAA is amending 14 CFR 48.205(c) to require the registration
number be displayed and visible on an external surface of the small
unmanned aircraft. The FAA has determined that the importance of
mitigating the risk to first responders outweighs the previously
discussed aesthetic interests and justifies the minimal burden and
inconvenience this change could impose on small unmanned aircraft
owners.

This interim final rule does not change the acceptable methods of
external marking provided in §?48.205(a) and (b). Additionally, the
FAA does not specify a particular external surface upon which the
registration number must be placed. The requirement is that it can be
seen upon visual inspection of the aircraft's exterior. This interim
final rule is effective February 25, 2019. Owners must ensure each
aircraft meets this requirement for any operation that occurs after
February 25, 2019.

VI. Regulatory Notices and Analyses
Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses.
First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct that
each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a
reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation
justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980
(Pub. L. 96-354), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., requires
agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small
entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39, as amended,
19 U.S.C. chapter 13) prohibits agencies from setting standards that
create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United
States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Agreements Act
requires agencies to consider international standards and, where
appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies
to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other
effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate
likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100
million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of
1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of
the economic impacts of this interim final rule.

A. Regulatory Evaluation
This rule revises the requirements regarding the placement of the
registration number assigned to a small unmanned aircraft. Under the
Registration IFR, the FAA allowed the registration number to be placed
in an enclosed compartment (e.g., the battery compartment) on the
small unmanned aircraft, but the FAA now requires the number to be
placed on the exterior of the aircraft. While this rule changes one
possible location where the registration number may be displayed, the
cost to operators/owners is minimal as they will continue to use the
same methods to mark the aircraft. The FAA acknowledges that there may
be some minimal costs associated with reduced aesthetic freedom for
UAS designed to look a particular way.

As previously discussed, if the registration number is not readily
visible on the exterior of the small unmanned aircraft, first
responders or other persons seeking to identify the small unmanned
aircraft owner must open such enclosed compartments to view the unique
identifier. Requiring first responders to physically handle a small
unmanned aircraft to obtain a registration number adds an unnecessary
safety and security risk to those individuals, as well as to others in
the immediate proximity to the aircraft. This rule helps to mitigate
those risks.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that
this interim final rule is a significant regulatory action pursuant to
Executive Order 12866. It requires that owners of small unmanned
aircraft mark the registration number on an external surface of the
aircraft, which poses a minimal burden and inconvenience if an owner
must re-mark the aircraft to comply with this rule.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination
The Regulatory Flexibility Act, in 5 U.S.C. 603, requires an agency to
prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing impacts
on small entities whenever an agency is required by 5 U.S.C. 553, or
any other law, to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for
any proposed rule. Similarly, 5 U.S.C. 604 requires an agency to
prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis when an agency issues
a final rule under 5 U.S.C. 553, after being required by that section
or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking.
The FAA found good cause to forgo notice and comment and any delay in
the effective date for this rule. As notice and comment under 5 U.S.C.
553 are not required in this situation, the regulatory flexibility
analyses described in 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 are not required.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment
The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the
Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the
United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards
is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of
the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic
objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute
also requires consideration of international standards and, where
Start Printed Page 3672appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S.
standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this interim
final rule and determined that it has a legitimate domestic
objective—the protection of safety—and does not operate in a manner
that excludes imports that meet this objective.

D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4)
requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing
the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule
that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995
dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in
the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to
be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an
inflation-adjusted value of $155 million in lieu of $100 million.

This interim final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore,
the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that
the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information
collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that
there is no new requirement for information collection associated with
this interim final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation
In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International
Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to
the maximum extent practicable. As stated in the Registration IFR, the
registration and marking requirements for small unmanned aircraft
apply only to operations within the United States and there are no
ICAO standards for marking small unmanned aircraft.[5]

G. Environmental Analysis
FAA Order 1050.1F identifies FAA actions that are categorically
excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or
environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA) in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has
determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical
exclusion identified in paragraph 5-6.6f of this order and involves no
extraordinary circumstances.

The FAA has reviewed the implementation of the rule and determined it
is categorically excluded from further environmental review according
to FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and
Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.6f. The FAA has examined possible
extraordinary circumstances and determined that no such circumstances
exist. After careful and thorough consideration of the action, the FAA
finds that this Federal action does not require preparation of an
Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement in
accordance with the requirements of NEPA, Council on Environmental
Quality (CEQ) regulations, and FAA Order 1050.1F.

VII. Executive Order Determinations
A. Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”
The FAA has analyzed this interim final rule under the principles and
criteria of Executive Order 13132, “Federalism.” The agency has
determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect
on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and
the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among
the various levels of government, and, therefore, does not have
Federalism implications.

B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy
Supply, Distribution, or Use
The FAA analyzed this interim final rule under Executive Order 13211,
“Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy
Supply, Distribution, or Use” (May 18, 2001). The agency has
determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under the
executive order, and it is not likely to have a significant adverse
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory
Cooperation
Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation
(77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international regulatory
cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor,
security, environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or
prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA
has analyzed this action under the policies and agency
responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and has determined that
this action would have no effect on international regulatory
cooperation.

D. Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling
Regulatory Costs
This rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13771
(82 FR 9339, Feb. 3, 2017) because the costs associated with the rule
are considered de minimis.

VIII. How To Obtain Additional Information
A. Rulemaking Documents
An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by using
the internet—

Search the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) Portal
(
http://www.regulations.gov);
Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies web page at
http://www.faa.gov/?regulations_?policies/? or
Access the Government Publishing Office's web page at:
http://www.gpo.gov/?fdsys/?.
Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by
amendment or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation
Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue
SW, Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677.

All documents the FAA considered in developing this rule, including
economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the
internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced above.

B. Comments Submitted to the Docket
Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov
and following the online instructions to search the docket number for
this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of the FAA's dockets by the name of the
individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
(SBREFA) (Pub. L. 104-121) (set forth as a note to 5 U.S.C. 601), as
amended, requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for
information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations
within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this
document may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed
under Start Printed Page 3673the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
section at the beginning of the preamble. You can find out more about
SBREFA on the internet at:
http://www.faa.gov/?regulations_?pol...g/?sbre_?act/?.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 48
Aircraft
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
Signs and symbols
Small unmanned aircraft
Unmanned aircraft
The Amendment
In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration
amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 48—REGISTRATION AND MARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR SMALL UNMANNED
AIRCRAFT
1. The authority citation for part 48 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40101, 40103, 40113-40114, 41703,
44101-44103, 44105-44106, 44110-44113, 45302, 45305, 46104, 46301,
46306.

2. In §?48.205, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:

§?48.205 Display and location of unique identifier.
* * * * *
(c) The unique identifier must be legibly displayed on an external
surface of the small unmanned aircraft.

Issued under the authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 41703,
44101-44103, in Washington, DC, on December 21, 2018.

Daniel K. Elwell,

Acting Administrator.

Footnotes
1. ?During an interagency meeting on December 2, 2016, regarding
unmanned aircraft systems policy, several elements of the law
enforcement community and the FAA's interagency security partners
raised concerns regarding the part 48 provision that allows the small
unmanned aircraft registration number to be placed in an enclosed
compartment, such as a battery compartment. Additionally, the National
Protection and Programs Directorate of the Federal Protective Service
sent a letter to the FAA Administrator on May 5, 2017, to highlight
its specific concerns about this provision and to request that the FAA
amend it.

Back to Citation
2. ?Taylor v. Huerta, Case No. 15-1495, (D.C. Cir. May 19, 2017).

Back to Citation
3. ?As of May 31, 2018, 936,957 model aircraft owners completed the
registration process and 218,033 non-model aircraft were registered.
Model aircraft owners may apply a single registration number to
multiple small unmanned aircraft. See 14 CFR 48.115 and 48.200.

Back to Citation
4. ?Public Law 115-91.

Back to Citation
5. ?Standard Practice for UAS Registration and Marking (Excluding
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems), ASTM F2851-10 (2018), available at
https://www.astm.org/?Standards/?F2851.htm.

Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 2019-00765 Filed 2-12-19; 8:45 am]

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