Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), has released a statement on the recent unmanned aerial systems (UAS) exemptions from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The FAA decided to give approval to four companies – Trimble Navigation Ltd., VDOS Global LLC, Clayco Inc. and Woolpert Inc. – to fly UAS for aerial surveing, constructing site monitoring and oil rig flare stack inspections.
“We are excited to see the FAA grant these exemptions for commercial use of UAS and to begin to unlock the various benefits of this technology,” Toscano says. He adds that the companies will be able “to do their work more safely and efficiently” with the help of unmanned aircraft.
However, although he considers the exemptions “a positive step” for the industry, Toscano does not believe that doing so “on a case by case basis” is an “effective way to regulate the use of UAS in the long term.”
Instead, he says, the agency must “begin the rulemaking process and finalize a rule for the use of UAS as quickly as possible.”
Doing so, according to Toscano, will “allow UAS technology to realize its full potential and allow a wide range of industries to reap its benefits.”
AUVSI represents more than 7,500 members from 60-plus allied countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. The organization recently named a new president and CEO to succeed Toscano, who is retiring in January.