U.S. air traffic controllers are prepared to manage both manned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace system, says Chris Stephenson, the terminal operations coordinator for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
Stephenson is also a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s UAS study group based in Montreal. He reports that air traffic ‘controllers are already managing UAS flights in civil airspace and will be ready for widespread integration once the [Federal Aviation Administration] provides the regulatory framework,’ according to an article by Avionics Today.
The development of sense-and-avoid systems, Stephenson notes, is the essential element needed to unleash the civil and commercial UAS industry in the U.S.
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