Only by enacting rules for the integration of small commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in U.S. airspace will the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensure safe operations and American competitiveness, according to the Small UAV Coalition.
Michael Drobac, the executive director of the group, has released a statement calling on the FAA to turn its focus to the commercial UAV rule, which will “promote safety, consumer benefits and trust.”
“Critical time for rulemaking has been wasted, focused on recreational users rather than responsible regulation of a commercial marketplace,” the group explains.
The coalition reiterates that the agency “already is behind schedule on the September 2015 deadline set by Congress” and that it is “spending time and resources on a small number of inappropriate recreational UAV uses.”
The coalition explains that “UAV technology development and consumer and commercial demand for UAVs is outpacing regulation, creating an even more urgent need for clarity from the FAA.”
“It is worth noting,” the group continues, “that many of our members have been safely operating in Europe and Asia for some time, and that the commercial UAV industry will be utilizing the most sophisticated technology and advanced electronics to ensure safety.”
“Without prompt action by the FAA on reasonable commercial rules, American companies will be forced overseas where the regulatory environments for UAV testing and use are more sensible.”
As a result, it says, “American consumers and business are the losers.”
Board members of the Small UAV Coalition are 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, EHang, Google[x] Project Wing, GoPro, Parrot, PrecisionHawk, Sky-Futures and SkyWard.