FAA Roadmap Follow up

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An update to the previous story…


At the end of that story, I attached a copy of the letter that was sent to the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Ms. Peggy Gilligan. The letter highlights some of the arguments for small business representation on the current UAS ARC. The small business stakeholder has no representation on the current ARC thus being disenfranchised from the process.

The roadmap and supporting documentation reference the charge of the new ARC, reviews of the NPRM and a continuation of work from the sUAS ARC that I was a part of and our readers have heard so much about over the years.

All one has to do is peruse that latest iteration of official documentation from the FAA to see that small business, and the end user is several years behind the rest of the group. Catching up with the moneyed herd is going to be difficult for sure. Add all of the damage and lock out barriers to mom and pop and you have a stillborn industry. That is what the disenfranchisement means to the layperson.

Well, there is some light at the end of the tunnel (and this time it’s not the 3:10 to Yuma.) I receive an email back from the Associate Administrator. “We will review your concern again and respond shortly.” This message was cc’d to the head of the UASIO and some other high level folks.

I wouldn’t say its time to don the smoking jacket and cork the bubbly just yet, but I think the message about the small business end-user stakeholder group is being better understood.

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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).