Drone Advisory Committee Follow Up and The Drone Czar Proposal

While I received a favorable responses for the DAC Synopsys article

Some felt like there was a solutions punch line missing at the end. I guess I was remiss in offering up solutions and silver linings. I’m busy with sUSB Expo and school is starting so that part just kind of slipped my mind.

Okay, so I’m going to rectify my oversight and offer up solutions by category of stakeholder and the community as a whole. This may include droners outside of the U.S. who also think they are immune but could still suffer from the insane blowback of “stuff” like registration.

The following ideas are put forth with the goal of helping small business people and other companies create jobs in an $89 billion dollar industry that is hanging like a loose tooth.

The commercial end-user –

Embrace the Part 107, find a groove, get in and don’t look back. If you have a plan that includes BVLOS and flying directly over people – just let it go.

Whoever has the means to afford it –

Hire better lobbyists and throw money at them! The easy, couch cushion loose change has been spent, and any concerted effort towards Congress [squandered] has resulted in some regulatory shortcomings. From here on in you’ll have to re-up and possibly double down on the effort to undo the bungling heretofore accomplished in your name. And since Obi-Wan Kenobi can’t be counted on here in this galaxy, the FAA Reauthorization may be our only hope ;-) If you want to fly BVLOS, think TC (Type Certifications for the selfie set) or invest in a scale befitting an industry economist’s forecast (recovering or otherwise) to be worth $89 or $124 billion, depending on whose telephone numbers you’re looking at.

The community as a whole –

Drone Czar now!

What the heck is a Drone Czar anyway? Some of the Twitter followers and podcast listeners may have heard me talk about the Drone Czar. For those who have missed out, it is a person who has a professional/expert knowledge of not only the problems associated with UAS integration but also understands the history, the engineering, systems and regulation that it would take to put the Rube Goldberg machine together. This person has to have an intimate understanding of the laws and processes for UAS NAS integration and would be responsible for reporting to the highest levels of Government. International harmonisation and working with the international groups would be a plus. They would also need to have the trust of the end-user community. Ulterior motives that would benefit for example a spouse’s consulting firm or facilitate a former employer-moving product would not fly. Full integration in any sort of organised and timely fashion means hiring someone capable of integrating science, international business relations, and law with the pure interests of the business community.

I know there are some who would ask what manner of man or woman could possible be so wise in the ways of science and Roberts Rules. This person would have not only to be super experienced and knowledgeable, but honest, diligent, and also have the patience of Job. *Big pregnant pause…* No, not me! The latter disqualifies me outright, as I have neither the inclination, constitution, nor temperament to endure such an endeavour.

Those people that I would nominate have not been consulted; I haven’t even discussed the idea of Drone Czar with them. They are all men that I know and are not named in any order other than alphabetically.

James Grimsley

James has been in the Unmanned field for some twenty-five years. He is an engineer and has had several successful drone companies and systems under his belt. He can work through the system, is political and a spirited, tireless advocate for the technology and community.

http://www.dii1.com/about.php

Parimal Kopardekar

Those who know PK know him as a good guy. While we haven’t had any run-ins personally, he took a chance on including me when some folks at NASA tried to imply that your humble author was disruptive. He is knowledgeable, can work through the bureaucratic system, work in political circles and most of all has a good sense of humour. That is a HUGE plus in any Federal rulemaking process.

https://www.nasa.gov/ames/parimal-kopardekar

Douglas Marshal

Out of the three, I have known Doug the longest. We have had our run-ins, but have worked through them and I consider Doug to be very knowledgeable, honest, and he has an excellent knowledge of both the relevant law and history of the NAS integration process.

http://www.truenorthconsulting.org/about-doug-marshall/

They are all old hands at the integration game and share a passion for the technology and the promise and possibility it holds to make our world a better place. We as a community would be lucky to have any one of these good men working on our behalf.

As far as getting any one of them to do the job, that is entirely up to you the community and the powers that be.

Don’t miss a thing @suasnews or unfiltered @thedronedealer on Twitter. Just think you would have already known about this good idea.

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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).