New Chair, Members at Federal Drone Advisory Committee


Elaine L. Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has formally announced new appointments to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Drone Advisory Committee (DAC).

According to the FAA, the DAC – first announced three years ago – is a long-term federal advisory committee that provides the FAA advice on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements.

Heading the DAC as chairman is Michael Chasen, CEO of PrecisionHawk. Chasen is the second chairman of the committee, following former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Chasen will serve a two-year term.

“Over the last few years, we have seen tremendous growth across the drone industry, in large part due to the forward-leaning regulatory framework that the FAA has put in place,” says Chasen. “It’s an exciting time for our company and for the industry at large, and we look forward to tackling the challenges ahead with the FAA and industry through the DAC.”

The DAC is chartered to have up to 35 members, and the latest appointments will fill 12 vacancies. The new members are as follows:

  • Thomas Karol, general counsel at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos.;
  • David Silver, vice president for civil aviation at the Aerospace Industries Association;
  • Joseph DePete, president of the Air Line Pilots Association;
  • Bob Brock, director of aviation and UAS at the Kansas Department of Transportation;
  • Mark Colborn, senior corporal at the Dallas Police Department;
  • Michael Leo, captain at the New York City Fire Department;
  • Steve Ucci, senior deputy majority leader for the Rhode Island State Assembly;
  • Mariah Scott, president of Skyward;
  • Lorne Cass, vice president of regulatory affairs at American Airlines;
  • Michael Sinnett, vice president of product development and strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes;
  • Chris Anderson, CEO of 3DR; and
  • Peter Cleveland, vice president of Intel Corp.’s law and policy group.

“Innovation is one of Secretary Chao’s top priorities for the Department of Transportation,” comments Daniel K. Elwell, acting administrator of the FAA. “Michael and the DAC will help guide the FAA to build flexible, responsive regulatory processes that can keep up with the industry’s creativity while ensuring the highest level of safety.”

The next DAC meeting will be held on June 6 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. More information can be found here.

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