The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing Wednesday to examine the growth of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the U.S., including the potential economic benefits of UAS operations and progress of steps taken to facilitate the development of the industry through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
The hearing also addressed safety and privacy issues surrounding the operation of UAS in the U.S.
‘These aircraft are currently being flown, albeit in limited fashion, around the world, and the benefits certainly look promising,’ said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., ranking member of the committee. ‘We must also remember that the aviation industry is a competitive worldwide industry, and the timely resolution of both the safety issues and privacy concerns will be necessary for the U.S. to utilize such technologies while also maintaining its leadership position in this emerging aviation sector.’
‘Unmanned aircraft are a rapidly emerging technology with great commercial potential,’ added Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.V., chairman of the committee. ‘But along with this potential, there are some serious concerns. Just as we have done in the past, our job is to foster the growth of this new industry while managing the risks.’
‘Unmanned aircraft have tremendous economic potential, but we can't ignore the threat they pose to our personal privacy,’ Rockefeller noted.