U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today announced that Horizon Hobby, a Champaign-based company that develops and manufactures micro drones for recreational and commercial use, will serve on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). Horizon Hobby has been asked to help develop recommendations for operating certain UAS.
“Private companies like Horizon Hobby know this technology and its potential better than anyone,” said Davis. “I applaud the FAA for soliciting their expertise in this matter. U.S. policy regarding drones has not kept up with technology and has severely limited their ability to add to our economy. While I hope the FAA will eventually exempt micro drones from regulation, this committee is an important step to advance the public and commercial use of this technology.”
“We appreciate Congressman Davis promoting the development of effective rules for the use of commercial UAS and recommending us for this committee”, said Joe Ambrose, CEO of Horizon Hobby. “Other countries have established UAS rules. The markets for these products are moving forward quickly outside the United States. It is important to our economy and to the competitive position of American companies that we have a set of rules that allows us to pursue these new opportunities. We believe that micro drones can be safely deployed in ways that address concerns for public safety and privacy and without extensive and costly regulation. Many organizations, including small businesses, will benefit from the very cost effective use of these new products. We look forward to working with the FAA and the other members of the committee to move forward with safe operation of consumer and commercial UAS.”
Davis has urged the FAA to develop rules and regulations to allow for the recreational and commercial use of UAS and most recently was successful in including an amendment to a FAA reform bill that would exempt small UAS from FAA regulation.
Davis sent a letter to the FAA encouraging the inclusion of Horizon Hobby on this committee noting the company’s unique qualifications. Davis wrote in part, “Horizon employs subject matter experts related to all facets of remote controlled aircraft, including some of the best and more experienced RC aircraft pilots in the world. Unique compared to UAS ARC members, Horizon is a designer, developer and retailer of more than 150 different micro-sized RC aircraft models. All of these factors, coupled with the fact that Horizon also has a commercial UAS subsidiary, would provide the micro UAS ARC with a unique and valuable perspective.” Click here to read the full letter.
Horizon Hobby received an official letter from the FAA inviting the company’s general counsel, Brian Reinhart, to participate on the committee. According to the letter, the ARC is scheduled to meet at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC over the next two weeks.