Introducing the ‘Remote Pilots Council,’ Launched by AUVSI

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has launched the Remote Pilots Council (RPC), which aims to promote education and dialogue between commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators, industry stakeholders and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Through a combination of in-person meetings, webinars and surveys, the council of AUVSI members will discuss opportunities and challenges to ensure the safe and responsible use of the National Airspace System (NAS), says AUVSI.

“Now that we have rules governing the civil and commercial operations of UAS, more businesses and innovators are flying and unlocking the tremendous economic benefits of the technology,” comments Brian Wynne, AUVSI’s president and CEO. “AUVSI members, particularly those that are Part 107 remote pilots, are driving the value of this technology. The RPC will further enable AUVSI’s collaboration with the government to advance UAS in a safe and responsible manner.”

The first RPC meeting was hosted by the Silicon Valley AUVSI Chapter in San Francisco on Jan. 12. It featured remarks from Wynne and Airware’s CEO, Jonathan Downey, who also serves on AUVSI’s board of directors. Wynne moderated a discussion about the integration of UAS into the NAS, which featured Ken Kelley, national FAASTeam manager at the FAA, and Jesse Kallman, director of customer engagement and regulatory affairs at Airware.

“We are excited about the RPC because a network of informed, experienced and safe drone pilots is an important part of helping enterprise customers scale their operations and see the full value of this powerful technology,” says Downey.

RPC meetings are scheduled with AUVSI chapters in Denver on Jan. 26; Washington, D.C., on Feb. 8; and Chicago on Feb. 28. Additional meetings will be held in Boston, Florida and Texas over the next several months. Attendance to the meetings is open to the public, but ongoing participation on the council will be limited to AUVSI members.

“The RPC’s immediate goals are to bring AUVSI members together to provide feedback on real-world UAS operations, including clarifying and offering suggestions for greater efficiency in the FAA waiver process,” Wynne adds. “Going forward, the RPC will identify and discuss operational challenges and potential solutions in UAS regulation as the FAA moves towards the full integration of UAS into the NAS.”

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