The Senate Hearing on Drone Integration

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hosted the listening to, entitled “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Innovation, Integration, Successes, and Challenges,” this morning.

Chairman Thune launched the listening to, setting a optimistic tone in the direction of rushing up drone integration and dealing towards incorporating helps for integration within the everlasting FAA Reauthorization Bill.  Thune additionally acknowledged business’s vital position: “… importantly, the industry, from manufacturers to software developers to practical users, continues to innovate,” mentioned Thune.  “While there is no silver bullet, safety technologies, including geofencing, altitude limitations, and sense and avoid capabilities, have the ability to continue to improve the safe operations of unmanned aircraft—technological achievements which may someday be used to improve safety in manned aviation.”

Ranking member Bill Nelson agreed that the advance of expertise may assist, however his written assertion set the tone of “safety first” by saying that whereas industrial drones maintain “great technological promise,” they elevate “important questions concerning safety and security.”  In addition to mentioning reported close to misses round airports, the Senator launched the spectre of drones and terrorism, saying that he’s “concerned by the prospect of drones being usurped by terrorists to target critical infrastructure and Department of Defense sites around the country.”

After listening to the testimony from witnesses together with Earl Lawrence of the FAA, Diana Marina Cooper, VP of Legal and Policy Affairs at Precision Hawk, Brendan Schulman, VP of Policy and Legal Affairs at DJI, and a consultant from Nelson’s house state, the Director and Chief Executive Officer, Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Nelson continued to debate the connection between terrorism, drones and security in query and solutions.  Nelson launched the concept that not solely terrorists however unlawful immigrants would possibly be capable of enter the nation via passenger drones comparable to those who will probably be launched as taxis in Dubai this summer time.

Issues of state and native ordinances, drone privateness, drone supply, agriculture and the usage of drones in legislation enforcement and firefighting have been additionally addressed.  About state and native legal guidelines, each Schulman of DJI and Cooper of PrecisionHawk, members of the Drone Advisory Committee, commented on the necessity for a robust federal framework which might meet the wants of native governments additionally and stem the tide of latest native rules.

When a senator from Nevada requested what lawmakers may do to take away obstacles for the drone business, Mr. Schulman requested for consideration of a micro-drone class, one thing that Senators did introduce in earlier variations of the FAA Reauthorization packages final yr.

FAA Representative Earl Lawrence promised that the FAA would meet it’s April deadline on UTM growth.  Asked if the US have been behind different nations in drone supply and different purposes, Lawrence mentioned that their focus was on integration fairly than particular person utility – and in that enviornment, the US was main the best way.

Miriam McNabb is the CEO of JobForDrones, knowledgeable drone companies market, and a fascinated observer of the rising drone business and the regulatory surroundings for drones. She writes for DRONELIFE on present information, monetary traits, and FAA rules. Miriam has a level from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of expertise in excessive tech gross sales and advertising and marketing for brand spanking new applied sciences.
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