U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to immediately move forward with and release much needed rules for the use of small unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
According to a release from the senator, this announcement is in light of the fact that within the last week, there have been at least three alleged near-miss incidents in which UAS were flying close to planes at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Schumer also reiterated his call for the Commerce Department’s National
Telecommunications and Information Administration to issue privacy guidelines as soon as possible.
Schumer said that while there are innumerable benefits to this technology – including law enforcement, agriculture and business – the lack of rules has created serious safety and privacy concerns for the general public.
Schumer made clear he does not want to dictate what those rules are but that the FAA simply must make the definition and appropriate use of commercial and hobby drones clear: outlining what is legal and illegal and where they can be used so that the largely positive technology does not suffer, he says.
In August, Schumer urged the FAA to expedite its rule-making on small drones – which Congress originally authorized the agency to do in 2012. He now says the situation is more urgent than ever and that the FAA and OMB must take action.
“With the three recent incidents of drones flying dangerously close to planes at New York’s JFK Airport, it’s clear that commercial drone use has crossed over from unregulated to potentially deadly,” says Schumer. “For several years, federal bureaucracy has stood in the way of FAA drone rules to protect New York City residents’ and fliers’ safety, and it’s time for the FAA and OMB to finally release their new regulations so that our airspace stays safe.”