The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released the much-anticipated first roadmap outlining the efforts needed in order to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. airspace.
The roadmap addresses current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures that will be required as demand moves the country from today's limited accommodation of UAS operations to an extensive level of integration.
‘Government and industry face significant challenges as unmanned aircraft move into the aviation mainstream,’ says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. ‘This roadmap is an important step forward that will help stakeholders understand the operational goals and safety issues we need to consider when planning for the future of our airspace.’
The roadmap outlines the FAA's approach to ensuring that widespread UAS use is safe, from the perspective of ‘accommodation, integration and evolution.’ The FAA's main goal for integration is to establish requirements that UAS operators will have to meet in order to increase access to airspace over the next five to 10 years. The roadmap discusses items such as new or revised regulations, policies, procedures, guidance material, training and understanding of systems and operations to support routine UAS operations.
‘The FAA is committed to safe, efficient and timely integration of UAS into our airspace,’ says FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. ‘We are dedicated to moving this exciting new technology along as quickly and safely as possible.’
The roadmap also addresses the evolution of UAS operations once all requirements and standards are in place and are routinely updated to support UAS operations as the airspace system evolves. The document stresses that the UAS community must understand the system is not static, and that many improvements are planned for the airspace system over the next 15 years.