Discerning the culture, ethos and mechanics of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Program Office (UAPO) part 2

In this ongoing and open-ended series, the sUAS News is investigating the Unmanned Aircraft Program Office (future and past iterations as well, UASIO), modus operandi, who is in charge, and what types of checks and balances are in place for oversight and ultimately accountability. The Editorial staff here at the sUAS News are acting on behalf of the public’s best interest, and that includes the Global community.

The job descriptions…

The notion for FOIA requesting these two job descriptions were spurred form another story

First we have the job descriptions for the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Margaret “Peggy” Gilligan.

Peggy Gillian Job Description


It appears that the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety is supposed to make progress reports up the chain (to the Administrator) pertaining to the progress of the offices under her management.

Interesting to note that Marion C. Blakely signature on the paperwork. She is now serving in the top slot at the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Insights on Marion’s career and tenure at the FAA are a story that will have to wait for another time. Some have suggested that there was hardly a cooling off period between the jump from public to private sector.

FOIA request made for UAPO progress reports.

Secondly, we have the job description for the manager of the Unmanned Aircraft Program Office, Richard Prosek.

Rick Prosek


It appears that the manager of this office is required to make reports pertaining to the progress (work) done by the UAPO.

FOIA request made for said progress reports.

It also appears that the manager of this office is responsible for financial reporting as part of his Job description.

FOIA request made for all financial records, accounting and budgets for the UAPO since inception.

Update since starting the story.

It would appear that the progress reports and financials do not constitute something that needs to be dealt with in an expedited fashion. Even thought the requests cite the “rulemaking” that will affect the public at large. Are we to assume that rulemaking does not constitute a “compelling” need?

Copies of the responses from the Manager of the FOIA Program Management Branch, Mr. Douglas C. Taylor Ph D. (Withheld see below.)

Since this time, I had already sent appeals for expedited processing on the grounds that the public has the right to know about rulemaking as it is a “public process”, and also that we as taxpayers deserve to confirm that the FAA is spending our money judiciously. I received an email this morning from someone I know telling me that they are working on my requests for the story.

To be continued…


Patrick Egan

Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).