GAO Report on Drones in U.S. National Air Space

June 7, 2024 10:10 AM - Updated: June 10, 2024 1:34 PM

The following is the Government Accountability Office report, DRONES: Actions Needed to Better Support Remote Identification in the National Airspace.

From the report

Why GAO Did This Study

Drones are the fastest-growing segment of aviation in the U.S., according to FAA. Remote ID is intended to help FAA, law enforcement, and others locate drone operators flying in an unsafe manner or where prohibited. FAA is responsible for safely integrating drones into the national airspace and notes that Remote ID could help enable advanced drone operations. GAO was asked to review issues related to Remote ID. This report assesses (1) potential law enforcement uses for Remote ID, and related federal support, and (2) any limitations FAA and stakeholders may face using Remote ID for advanced operations. GAO reviewed FAA guidance and resources for Remote ID. GAO also reviewed FAA’s plans for integrating drones into the national airspace. GAO interviewed FAA and DHS officials, and law enforcement and industry stakeholders that GAO identified based on their participation on FAA committees and input from other stakeholders. GAO also reviewed DHS efforts to develop a Remote ID application.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is making three recommendations to FAA and one to DHS, including that FAA develop resources to help tribal, state, and local law enforcement use Remote ID; FAA develop a plan and timeline for a Remote ID interface; FAA identify a path forward for providing real-time, networked data about the location and status of drones; and DHS develop a plan and timeline for its Remote ID application. FAA and DHS concurred with our recommendations.

Download the document here.

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