Small UAV Coalition: The U.S. Is Lagging Behind

Posted by Betsy Lillian on November 20, 2014 No Comments
Categories : Policy & Regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must focus its resources on regulations that will enable domestic unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) innovation, according to the Small UAV Coalition.

The group, which currently comprises 12 different companies prominent in the UAV industry, has released a statement from Michael Drobac, executive director.

In relation to the recent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) decision that reversed the Pirker court case ruling and gives the FAA the authority to impose legal penalties on what they consider careless and reckless unmanned aircraft operations, the coalition says it is “neither surprised nor disappointed.”

The group says it is prompting the agency “to focus its attention and resources on achievements that will allow for the timely and safe operation of small UAVs.”

“Consumers and the industry would be better served if the FAA focused its limited resources on ways to bring the United States UAV industry up to speed with other countries, by allowing domestic manufacturers to conduct research and development on their own property, or by addressing the over 100 outstanding petitions for exemption under Section 333.”

It notes that the FAA “is already behind its deadline to integrate commercial UAVs into the national airspace” and realizes the soon-to-be-released draft of the small UAS rule “will not address the realities of today’s UAV technology.”

These realities include, according to the group, “varying degrees of autonomy and the ability to perform operations beyond line of sight.”

“Critical time has been wasted, costing U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace,” the coalition concludes.

Members of the recently formed Small UAV Coalition are the following: 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, EHang, Google[x]’s Project Wing, GoPro, Parrot, PrecisionHawk, Sky-Futures and SkyWard.

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