Commercial Drone Alliance Pens Letter to Trump Administration

Posted by Betsy Lillian on December 05, 2016 No Comments

The Commercial Drone Alliance has authored an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump and his Transition Team in an effort to advance the U.S.’ “wealth and economic prosperity” in the commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry.

The Commercial Drone Alliance, a nonprofit co-located in California’s Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., was founded earlier this year by Gretchen West and Lisa Ellman from law firm Hogan Lovells.

In the letter, the group writes, “Congratulations on a historic campaign. Your election comes at the dawn of an unprecedented new era in technology platforms. America is witnessing a renaissance in computing and robotics that promises to revolutionize the way we work, connect and even see the world.”

The group explains that although the country is in “the very early days of deploying UAS commercially on a broad scale,” if “regulatory barriers” can be overcome, “the potential held by UAS is unlimited.”

Thus, even though the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established long-waited rules for the operation of commercial UAS, “much work remains to be done to realize the full potential of drone technology.”

“Sadly, however, the United States is playing catch-up to much of the rest of the world on commercial drones,” the alliance writes.

In turn, the Trump administration has the power to “take significant steps to enhance American competitiveness,” the letter says.

“We are at a critical time for UAS policymaking, and your incoming administration has the ability to create good jobs and grow the economy by propelling UAS technology forward.”

Considering that “regulatory barriers preventing commercial drone integration are significant,” the group continues, “it is vital that policymakers understand and appreciate how to promote this innovation while integrating drones safely and securely.”

The Commercial Drone Alliance has come up with a number of people it feels would be assets to the Trump administration. Specifically, the alliance says the individuals are “eminently qualified for senior leadership positions within the FAA, the Department of Transportation, and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).” In particular, the letter adds, the OSTP “plays a particularly important role as the agency that carries the critical innovation banner across the federal government -including for commercial drones.”

“We respectfully request that your Transition Team consider carefully the credentials of the candidates we will be sending for your review to oversee the integration of commercial drones into our National Airspace.

“We are happy to provide additional information about these individuals at any time and stand ready to assist you in the transition. The commercial drone industry is enthusiastic about your pro-business, pro-economic growth focus – and particularly your passion to see the United States to succeed everywhere. We look forward to working collaboratively with your team in the days, months and years to come,” the alliance concludes in the letter.

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