RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – There are more drones in the air every day; trials continue for product deliveries, but the FAA is making changes in rules for drone operations. Big ones.

Described as “the single biggest set of changes to US drone law since the agency first took an interest in the technology,” the new rules will require many changes from licensing to location technology.

You have some time, but retrofitting in the future may be required.

“In 2022, the US government will require every new mass-produced drone weighing over 0.55 pounds (0.25 kg) to broadcast your location — and I do mean your location, not just the location of your drone. You’ll also be broadcasting an identification number that law enforcement can cross-reference with your registration number, as well as your drone’s speed and altitude,” writes Sean Hollister at The Verge.

Says the FAA: “This action requires the remote identification of unmanned aircraft. The remote identification of unmanned aircraft in the airspace of the United States will address safety, national security, and law enforcement concerns regarding the further integration of these aircraft into the airspace of the United States, laying a foundation for enabling greater operational capabilities.”

For more details on the new rules, check out:

FAA’s executive summary (PDF) on flying over people

Full text of the Remote ID rule (PDF)