Plan hatched to allow drone flying in Washington restricted airspace

Today, Charles Werner, Chair National Council on UAS/Virginia Aviation Advisor and Eddie Reyes, Police Foundation along with FAA’s Carol Might and Gary Miller announced a plan that will allow public safety to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the restricted airspace in the National Capital Region (NCR).  Until today, the possibility for public safety to utilize UAS and take advantage of the many demonstrated benefits was extremely restricted in the NCR.  DHS representative Andrew MacDonald also outlined a proposal to implement an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system along with UAS for public safety equipped with sensors for quick identification and secure operations.

Today’s meeting was organized to inform members of the Metro Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG – 24 localities, DC, MD & VA), identify the various federal partners and begin a collaboration process that will enable safe and secure use of UAS in the NCR. Over the past year, unmanned aircraft systems have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to save lives, enhance public safety operations and increase responder safety.

Chief Charles Werner stated, “I am extremely appreciative for the support received from the dedicated men and women of the FAA who have provided the opportunity for public safety to fly UAS in the NCR as well as for their phenomenal support during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. It is important to also acknowledge DHS Science & Technology for their leadership along with our other federal partner agencies and the Department of Defense for their support to move this initiative forward.”   Eddie Reyes stated, “Given my long history with the MWCOG, it made perfect sense to collaborate with the trusted authority in the NCR by all federal, state and municipal government agencies.  It’s a new day for sUAS in the NCR, both for first responders and for the public’s safety”.