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AirMap, a world leader in airspace management for unmanned aircraft, recently announced a partnership with DigiCert that will enable, for the first time, instant authentication of an unmanned aircraft’s identity via a digital certificate, the agreement is named Drone ID.

Drone ID intends to present a major step forward for drone security, laying the groundwork for a future in which millions of drones can share the airspace safely and efficiently. According to DigiCert’s site, Drone operators that register their drone online will receive a certificate, including a unique, validated aircraft identity number that can be loaded onto the drone and shared.

“Think of Drone ID like any form of identification you have in your wallet,” AirMap Chief Information Security Officer Jared Ablon said. “If you show your driver’s license at airport security, they don’t need to call the DMV to verify. Drone ID works the same way, providing drones with an aircraft identity that has been authenticated by trusted authorities”.

Drone ID is the first program of its kind, and a necessary step towards achieving efficient and secure communication from drone to drone, between drones and other aircraft, and with platforms providing airspace information and services. When an aircraft with Drone ID shares its identity, there is no need to query a third party to verify, enabling more efficient data exchange between airspace stakeholders.

Drone ID will be certified by AirMap and DigiCert, a security solutions provider that provides scalable identity, authentication and encryption for web servers and other connected devices. DigiCert provides high-volume certificate issuance and management for leading organizations in healthcare, technology, industrial operations, finance, manufacturing, education, transportation, telecommunications and government.

“AirMap’s partnership with DigiCert brings a new level of security to the drone ecosystem,” AirMap CTO Daniel Rubio said. “Identity verification – delivered by Drone ID – is a critical part of the airspace infrastructure that will support drone operations at scale and bring countless benefits to our everyday lives.”

“The growing number of connected devices in our world requires scalable security solutions that use identity, strong authentication and encryption,” said DigiCert CTO Dan Timpson. “Our work with AirMap is advancing secure drone operations and aircraft safety into a new era and is part of our focus across all industries to serve the security needs of new and emerging markets, including the Internet of Things.”