, Chicago

, Illinois

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-20 11:17:22
“I am an architect who lives and works in the city of Chicago, where violent crime is a concern. I am proud to work on projects such as churches, community centers and public transit infrastructure to help disadvantaged neighborhoods, and that work requires that I be physically present in those areas. Imaging from UAS aircraft can be extremely valuable, allowing for more data gathering faster, and in uses such as imaging roofs and facades of existing structures, far more safely than physically going up onto old buildings. I generally support some sort of Remote ID system, but strongly oppose making the location of the operator publicly available in real-time because it could make me the target of potentially violent criminals. Criminals have quickly found ways to exploit online information such as social media to identify victims. A system where any time you see a “drone” in the air, you can instantly pinpoint the operator can be expected to be quickly exploited to target operators, unfortunately. That is in addition to the portion of the public who react in unexpected ways to UAS operations, as evidenced by numerous threats and violent attacks on UAS aircraft in flight and the many incidents of UAS operators being approached in aggressive, “unhinged” and sometimes violent ways. Let’s not wait until UAS operators are killed or severely injured to make regulations reflect the real world problems that currently exist. I would strongly support a system that provided the public with a unique identifier code for a given flight operation in real time, which they could use if they needed to register a complaint. Such a system would reassure them that the “drone” they see in the air is registered with the FAA and the operation is being monitored and thus is unlikely to be some sort of “rogue” flight. By privately logging information about the operator and their location, that information could be provided to FAA or law enforcement officers if lawful and needed for public safety reasons. But it is not necessary to be immediately made public for any general safety purpose. I also oppose the proposal that UAS systems without new hardware, and possibly costly “service” contracts, would only be allowed to fly at the few, often oddly located “club” fields. To the best of my knowledge, no such fields exist in the city of Chicago. In part, this requirement would create an additional barrier to flying for many people, including disadvantaged populations in Chicago and other cities. Recreational flyers should be allowed to operate over their own home properties and properties where they are a guest, without special hardware on the UAS, within VLOS and within 400 feet, perhaps while using a “smartphone app” to ID their operation in real time with the FAA. I generally support aspects of Remote ID, but this initial preliminary proposal should not be implemented without extensive improvements.”