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El Paso, Texas, Implements Networked Drone ID System

The city implemented a system to identity and detect drone activity in restricted airspace or near critical infrastructure. The deployment comes well ahead of the FAA mandate that requires drones be equipped with remote identification capability.

Remote identification systems (Remote ID) have steadily become a viable security asset for governments of all sizes, providing a means to identify and track drones near critical infrastructure or in restricted airspace.

Recently, El Paso, Texas implemented a fully networked Remote ID system to detect unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying within and beyond 500 square miles of El Paso International Airport’s airspace, according to the El Paso Herald-Post.

“El Paso’s accomplishment in implementing the first fully networked Remote ID system, going beyond the [Federal Aviation Administration's] broadcast ID requirements, is a testament to our city’s dedication to embracing technology and innovation,” Aviation Director Sam Rodriguez told the Herald-Post. “This milestone positions El Paso as a leader in the drone industry, paving the way for a safer, more efficient and prosperous future for our community.”

The Remote ID system will provide real-time information about drone flights to prevent unauthorized drone operations and reduce the risk of accidents; allow for the expansion of commercial drone operations, including package delivery, infrastructure inspection and emergency response services; and adhere to strict privacy guidelines that protect the personal information of drone operators.

The implementation came well ahead of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Remote ID broadcast mandate that requires most drones to have the capability to transmit their location, altitude and identification information to authorized parties by Sept. 16, 2023. The mandate helps the FAA, law enforcement and other federal agencies find the control station when a drone appears to be flying in restricted airspace or in an unsafe manner.