At a hearing on Tuesday by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Subcommittee on Security, Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), called for accelerated federal rulemakings and the development of holistic policy solutions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
In his testimony, Wynne emphasized the importance of approaching UAS security from an overall airspace management perspective, rather than focusing only on how to interdict an errant drone. Wynne outlined three necessary conditions for UAS security: a holistic framework for detecting, tracking, identifying and mitigating UAS; securing UAS command-and control-connections and the data UAS collect; and well-defined procedures for how to respond to potential security threats.
“Careless and clueless operators can pose safety risks and paint responsible, legal UAS operations in a negative light, while criminal behavior can jeopardize the security of our airspace,” Wynne said. “As the number of UAS in our nation’s airspace continues to grow, it is vital our regulatory framework around UAS evolve to address these potential security challenges and ensure technologies are put in place to detect, identify and mitigate UAS which may pose a threat.”
Wynne underscored the importance of accelerating the federal rulemaking for remote ID, a critical component for the future of detection, tracking and identification technologies, he said. The rulemaking for remote ID has been delayed twice, with a notice of proposed rulemaking now expected in September.
“The FAA, in collaboration with industry, is developing the rulemaking process that will one day codify remote ID standards,” said Wynne. “Meanwhile, the industry is looking for ways to voluntarily provide remote ID on a tactical basis for certain situations. It is my hope that these efforts by the industry will help to accelerate the rulemaking process.”
Wynne praised recent, collaborative industry-government efforts to enhance UAS security including the Drone Advisory Committee, the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s best practices for UAS privacy and transparency, and the industry’s work with the U.S. Department of the Interior to develop data management and risk mitigation strategies.
Wynne also noted that AUVSI and the Airports Council International-North America have convened a Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports. The task force, co-chaired by former FAA administrator Michael Huerta and Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint, will provide recommendations to airports and the federal government to refine procedures in response to incursions and provide a policy framework to address the issue.
“The security of our airspace is a serious issue that should be addressed from an overall airspace management perspective,” Wynne concluded. “Only by working together can industry and government develop holistic policy solutions that give us the framework we need to keep the skies secure while still allowing the nascent UAS industry to truly take off.”
Wynne’s full testimony can be found here.