The Small UAV Coalition recently submitted a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to request the creation of an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) specifically related to small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The committee would tackle issues that the FAA is not likely to address in the upcoming small UAV rule, the coalition explains. Specifically, the Small UAV Coalition wants the committee to focus on issues related to autonomous and beyond line of sight operations.
According to the coalition, the FAA has devoted time and attention to these operations, and they are technologically feasible and increasingly common throughout the world. The Small UAV Coalition believes a small UAV ARC would provide the opportunity for an engaging and productive dialogue between manufacturers, operators and agency officials.
ARCs are established by the FAA to provide information and recommendations about specific topics, the coalition explains. Five years ago, the FAA’s initial small UAV ARC issued a report. An ARC devoted to UAS was chartered again in 2011, but it has since devoted most of its efforts to issues involving large UAVs into the navigable airspace. By their size, weight, altitude and other characteristics, small UAVs present very different risks than larger UAVs, the coalition says.
As most commercial and consumer benefits are expected from the smaller class of UAVs, it is imperative that more attention be paid to them if the U.S. intends to be at the forefront of the technology, the Small UAV Coalition believes.
The group was recently formed with the purpose of expediting commercial, civil and philanthropic use of UAVs in the U.S. and abroad. The members are 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, EHang, Google[x]’s Project Wing, GoPro, Parrot, PrecisionHawk, Sky-Futures and Skyward. The coalition is supported by attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP.