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With the coming FAA requirement in 2020 for all manned aircraft to be equipped with ADS-B transceivers, I wonder if that will have any effect on drones?  I ran across this company that designed an ADS-B Out transceiver specifically for the UAS market:  Its just 75 grams!  Still costs $1300, but perhaps that would come down with volume production?  I spoke with some pilots at the local RC Model flying park who were concerned that they may be required to equip their models at some point in the future.  This could be a good thing - airplane pilots might be less concerned about drones if they could see us on their TCAS systems?  Just curious what the group thinks.  Maybe it would only be required on larger drones that are more of a threat to airplanes?  Anyone else have more info?


- Derrick

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I can honestly say I see this from both sides.  I have passed drones in flight, along with balloons and other hazards that could interfere with my aircraft.

Its honestly tough to say at this point, unfortunately.  We don't know exactly how and what the FAA plans to do with the drone/UAV sector.  We can't know or guess because even the FAA doesn't know.  We are currently installing ADS-B in our Part 135 charter fleet and being prepared for later this year?  The exact date slips my mind currently.  When RVSM (reduced verticle separation minimums) was established over 10 years ago, they pushed the date back a good number of times.  I think this is going to be a hard wall for aircraft this time around.

It would be difficult to give us the same requirement at this point.  I think the FAA is more looking at the future, having the technology preinstalled from the factory and setting limits on what we are able and unable to modify, both hardware and software/firmware in the end.  see  (I hope I can post their own links here?  is that allowed?  I will edit if necessary)

I don't see anything happening soon.  but at the very least, I do see newer professional and high-grade consumer drones coming with the hardware already installed.  Maybe the Part 107 guys would be mandatory to have an external device attached to communicate with other aircraft surrounding them, even if it is only a one-way device.  There are some very small devices now that would work, one for around $200 that would need an external power supply.  Would current equipment be grandfathered or required to be changed?

The issue that we can't deal, and the reason for all of this, is with is people not respecting the rules and safety of others.  As I've always been told, you can't fix stupid.  So even with ADS-B, even if it is being used, we know they are there but how does that stop or even limit them?  That is the biggest issue the FAA has to figure out.  Unfortunately, the 'safety through education' campaign the FAA ran did not accomplish what it needed to.  Its a lack of caring that needs to be fixed.

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