Small UAV Coalition Applauds Administration Plan for UAS Integration Pilot Program Implementation

With the Department of Transportation expected to publish a Federal Register notice this week that will officially open the UAS Integration Pilot Program, the Small UAV Coalition applauds the Administration for its forward-leaning vision to accelerate UAS integration and demonstrate the capabilities of UAS beyond the current scope of FAA regulations. Importantly, the data-driven pilot program will also inform new regulations that will accelerate the safe, secure integration of UAS into the airspace.

On October 25, President Trump directed the Department of Transportation to establish a pilot program to coordinate federal, state, and local support for the successful integration of UAS into the national airspace. The Coalition welcomed the announcement and was pleased to attend last Thursday’s kickoff event at the Department of Transportation. Attendees heard directly from Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, and other officials as they outlined the Administration’s vision for implementation, which includes operations beyond the visual line of sight, over people, and carrying property.

In particular, the Coalition applauds Secretary Chao for highlighting the life-saving potential of UAS technology, including over 300 FAA authorizations for UAS to assist the search, rescue, and recovery missions during the 2017 hurricane season. The Coalition also agrees with Michael Kratsios’ assertion that the pilot program “will help spur the next era of American aviation” as it contributes to a new regulatory framework to facilitate advanced UAS operations and integration.

As the pilot program gets underway, the Coalition looks forward to continuing to work with Congress, the FAA, and all stakeholders to advance a forward-leaning regulatory framework that secures our nation’s leadership in UAS integration and enables the United States to fully realize the immense economic potential and consumer benefits of this cutting-edge technology in the near-term.

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