Gary Mortimer and Gene Robinson had been cajoling me to read the new documentation, Roadmap from the FAA. I was reluctant, as I knew that it would create a bunch of work for an already overworked cub reporter in the lonely corner of the city room. The Comprehensive Plan (Apprehensive plan as it should be named) besides being chock full of vacuous mumbo jumbo (mucky business politics) should be enough to make people take up torch and pitchfork at the gate of FrAAnkenstein castle. This is allegory and not to be taken literally. I have to add the disclaimer because that gem could inspire some nut job from ACLU, Codepink EFF, et al who might actually take that ball and run with it. I could see it now… That Egan guy let slip the anti-war dogs.
All of the loud whinging I’ve done over the years alludes to exactly this. What an absolute disappointment… we still have to implement the small UAS rule as well as “develop or facilitate the development of standards” for just about everything. Facilitate is a euphemism for throwing the work over the fence to the DoD vendors to pad around the old business plans.
Folks used to make jokes about tinfoil hats and conspiracies, but who’s going first? “That’s Patrick being cranky again?” Yeah, well I get a little cranky when I’m getting screwed. What do you think the documentation requirement is going to look like, an online forum or something straight out of the military? That will be the only semblance of the hobbyists tinkering on military grade technology. If folks don’t get off the duff, we won’t have regular access to the NAS until 2020 (estimated). Go Air Force for 2047.
Well, we keep hearing that the DoD guys are looking out for us. They’re working on a solution for everyone to get in the NAS. Man, they must think we are stupid! Oh wait, we have been sitting back letting the military industrial complex take the lead and run the whole show into the ditch. I can’t really blame folks as the 800-pound gorilla laid a huge egg. Years of regulatory constipation have created a rotten egg so large, so obscure that it is hard to understand or even contemplate in its entirety. Heck, they could send in the team from NASA and even those dudes probably couldn’t even make sense of it, and that is even assuming they could get the funding. We are well beyond throwing a couple of thousand dollars at lobbying.
The fix is in!
They (the DoD interests) have every side of this deal sewed up tight, and everyone is on the payroll the politicians are getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. The lobbyists are trolling the halls in their two thousand dollar suits looking for earmarks, and the civil servants are looking to off-ramp into the private sector. The advocacy and standards groups are seeded with board members and other high-ranking employees of the big weapons system manufacturers working the other side of the triangle.
Someone brought up a good point, who at the advocacy and standards groups are holding stock from the big five DoD companies driving the bus. Sad part is Judas is still working on the cheap. The relevant point is that they are working, and there must be less of a sense of urgency when you’re raking it in on all sides.
Anyone praising this iteration of birdcage liner (Yes the picture is the sUAS ARC recommendations in a birdcage.) is not working in or, for your best interest PERIOD!
What you can do…
You can email the following folks and tell them they were sold a false bill of goods, and you are interested in cashing in on the UAS gold rush too.
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV Chairman Committee on Commerce. Science and Transportation United States Senate Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable John Thune Ranking Member Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation United States Senate Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Bill Shuster Chairman
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Nick J. Rahall, II Ranking Member Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
Attached is another letter I wrote to the Associated Administrator for Aviation Safety, MS. Peggy Gilligan asking (again) that the small business stakeholder be included in the public rulemaking process.
You can email or call the FAA and ask why you got disenfranchised here: