Release #: 17.63
December 20, 2017

Statement on FAA Report on Increased Drone Tracking

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement today after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a report from the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) calling for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators to participate in identification and tracking for public safety purposes:

“ALPA supports the recommendations of the UAS Identification and Tracking ARC, and we encourage the FAA to implement mandatory identification and tracking capabilities as quickly as possible.

“As a member of this diverse group of participants, ALPA worked with the ARC, manned aviation organizations, and both federal and state law enforcement stakeholders to draft a regulatory framework that, when implemented, increases safety and addresses security concerns. By requiring UAS operators to equip their devices with identification and tracking systems, law enforcement officials gain the ability to identify and track down a UAS pilot who may be involved in a collision or is jeopardizing the safety of our national air space or the general public.

“Earlier this year, a collision between an army helicopter and a drone highlighted the importance of implementing this technology. In that event, pieces of the drone were used to identify the registered owner through the drone’s manufacturer. While fortunate in that instance, we cannot rely on good fortune in the future. Identification and tracking technologies are needed urgently. With the rapidly growing use of UAS, it is more important than ever that we remain focused on safety as the highest priority.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 59,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or