“Hobbyists Got Screwed” Breaking Down The FAA Remote ID Proposal With Kenji Sugahara

In December of 2019, the FAA released a 300+ page document that proposed what they call “Remote ID”, which in essence is a set of rules that would allow them to monitor the airspace here in the United States for all remotely controlled aircraft. Basically, this is a regulation that would affect everyone in the unmanned aircraft community, whether you are a recreational Radio Controlled Airplane pilot who flies at the local AMA flying field, all the way to the likes of an Amazon looking to do unmanned package deliveries. To be honest, I sat down and read the document myself but let’s face it – most of it just went over my head.

So, I figured it would be best to chat with someone who is an expert on the subject! In a recent interview for my High Voltage Podcast, I sit down with my friend Kenji Sugahara, who is the perfect person to chat with to discuss this matter.

Kenji is technically a lawyer who passed the bar exam, but because his passion for flying and operating drones outweighs his passion for practicing law, he now works full time in his business A-Cam Aerials located in Oregon. Instead of sitting in a courtroom or office all day, he and his team spend their days out in the Pacific Northwest shooting movies, TV shows and commercials with drones. As a member of the Federal Aviation Rulemaking Committee, he was involved with providing the FAA with some insight as to some possible rules that would allow drones to operate in National Airspace safely and effectively. Did the FAA take into account the advice he and the others provided for this rule making? Well – no, they didn’t.

In this interview, we discuss how the FAA’s proposed Remote ID system would affect hobbyists, UAV operators such as himself, and small aircraft manufactures like myself. Just how bad will it be? With these proposed rules, to put it in Kenji’s words, “Hobbyists Got Screwed”. Listen in and get a sense for how these new proposed rules would affect you, however you are involved with unmanned aviation.

Now, what do we do about it??? The FAA has a comment period that is open until March 2, 2020 (only 25 days from the time this is being posted). So, if you have not commented on the proposed set of rules and explain to the FAA how this would affect you personally, please be sure to do so! Remember, as Kenji states in the end of the video, don’t just slam the FAA and tell them how they are ruining your life – be sure to point out both the good and bad.

Lastly, DO NOT COPY AND PASTE a comment from the AMA or any other organization! This will be treated as one comment and not help move the needle.

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