FAA sUAS ARC Who Should Be on the Committee and Who Should Not.

They were not asking for experts, I happen to know manned aviation and unmanned pilots who were not invited nor was the idea even entertained. This committee smells of special interest and I wonder if the participants even know what is ahead? This will go down much in the same way as the registration enforcement committee with a lot of hand shakes and head nods, but at the end of the day the FAA didn’t give an inch to the begs of the special interest community.

Pat Egan with RCAPA wrote about the micro exemption first with frangible objects of plastic, foam and wood well before the series of failed micro rules came out. His comments are also in the NPRM. With this long list there is certainly some folks that have no familiarity with aviation law, certification or safety standards and have no business being on a rule making committee. The FAA was for many years given a blank check by congress because those without expertise were not allowed to vote on an issue of safety due to the complexity of most equipment and procedures. If anyone should have been invited to the ARC it should have been Pat, his original ideas and many years of going to bat for the community outside of special interest merited the invite.

Clearly there are special interest groups on this list who hope to avoid regulations because it will drive their bottom line. Other special interests on the list hope to make a name under the guise of expertise when it comes to aviation law or aircraft procedures.

Those with “protect the skies” status are there to insure that the aircraft safety standard is met and will not entertain comments from those without expertise or aware of the aviation safety standard. These are the folks who will be doing most of the talking while the drone companies sit around and try to figure out how to impress the FAA enough to change the safety standard. The standard has been in place for many years and will not change especially from this committee without science or data.

Those with “special interest” below are interested in the bottom line it is not from expertise or for their ability to create legislation, it is solely to gain profits and hope to gain favors from the FAA that just aren’t going to happen. A star rating of if they should or shouldn’t be on this committee * should not and ***** should be on the committee based solely on expertise and understanding of aviation law.

1) 3D Robotics (3DR) *

Special interest – sell more drones.

2) Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) ***

Save the organization – lost members and grandfathered shepherds of RC.

3) Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) *****

Protect the Skies – we don’t want a drone to hit an airliner.

4) Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) *****

Protect the skies – we don’t want a drone to hit a general aviation aircraft.

5) Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) ****

Safety & training – hope to educate pilots.

6) American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) *****

Protect the skies – stay away from airports.

7) Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) **

Special Interest – they’ve lost many members and money to failed efforts.

8) ASTM International *****

Set the standards – wrote the standards and need to gain money to pay for it.

9) AT&T Technology Operations **

Special interest – hopes drones will use existing cell technology.

10) Consumer Technology Association (CTA) **

Special Interest – want to sell more drones.

11) DJI *

Special Interest – want to sell more drones.

12) Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) *****

Protect the skies – stay away from aircraft.

13) General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) *****

Protect the skies – stay away from aircraft.

14) GoogleX *

Special Interest – want to sell drones.

15) GoPro, Inc. *

Special Interest – wants to sell cameras.

16) Helicopter Association International (HAI) *****

Protect the skies – stay away from helicopters.

17) ICON Aircraft *

Special Interest – sell more aircraft, stay away from aircraft.

18) Intel Corporation *

Special Interest – want to sell the processors on drones.

19) National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) *****

Protect the skies – stay away from AG pilots.

20) National Association of Realtors (NAR) *

Special interest – want less regulations to sell more houses.

21) National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) *****

Protect the skies – stay away from aircraft.

22) News Media Coalition (NMC) *

Special interest want less regulations to sell more news.

23) Professional Aerial Photographers Association, International (PAPA International) *

Special interest – want less regulations to sell more cameras.

24) Small UAV Coalition **

Special interest – sellers of more special interest to corporations.

25) The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) *****

Protect the skies – stay away from aircraft.

26) Toy Industry Association, Inc *

Special interest – sell more toys.

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Rob Thompson
Rob Thompson is the co-founder of Falcon Foundation, a 3rd generation commercial multi engine pilot, Part 107 holder who also holds a Master of Science from James Madison University for his work in aviation system designs and technical & scientific writing. Falcon Foundation provides leading advocacy efforts in the unmanned aircraft systems industry, managing government relations, committees of association, executing legislative and regulatory strategies and creating law through the corresponding legislative committees. By working independently on advocacy issues, educating the clients on public policy issues quickly, and by engaging team members to facilitate successful results. Client policy issues will include aviation regulation, unmanned aircraft systems, Part 107 waivers, the regulatory process, and industry safety concerns. Client groups include aviation professionals, unmanned aircraft systems, and operators, both commercial and hobbyists, and non-aviation business sectors, including small business service and manufacturing sectors.