More FAA FOIA Shenanigans

More FAA FOIA Shenanigans

Every so many years I like to check in on the progress of the folks at the UASIO. I usually start with job descriptions, so we know what is expected performance for those working on the safe integration of UAS into the NAS. We are a little behind on the 2015 integration mandated by Congress and I’m looking for insight into possible reasons for the apparent near miss.

I made a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request for the yearly progress reports and budgets that the UASIO Executive Director, Earl Lawrence, is to provide to the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety. This position used to be occupied by our longtime friend Peggy Gilligan, and is now held by Ali Bahrami. We became aware of the progress reports and yearly budgets from UASIO job description FOIA requests made in the past.

Section III.

Section III states that the incumbent “reports” to, and is “accountable” for. However, I was informed that no reports or budgets for the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety exist. Hogwarsh (or hogwash depending on where your kinfolk hail from), more than likely the procedure has changed to an intermediary or the nomenclature has been tweaked. Possibly this was done to give the process a more inclusive feel for the stakeholder??  

Some may feel a little uneasy about sidebar meetings or backroom deals reserved for foreign company representatives, hucksters, shysters, and would be product peddlers mentioned or omitted in Section II of the job description. Supposedly this is a public process and you should just be happy to take their word for it.     

I know I run the risk of sounding like I am nitpicking (again), but it is not instilling the confidence one might expect when one is supposedly working in the best interest of the stakeholder. On a side note regarding the job description, I’d probably employ the Gysin cut-up method to help streamline the airspace integration priorities.  Just a suggestion for my loyal readers inside the Beltway, remember, I am here to help.

I have already made some new FOIA requests and will keep the readership posted on the ongoing tales of brave Ulysses. The final two documents are FAA budgets, but not what I had requested. However, they are still relevant as they give you an insight into how things get paid for and work.

FY 2017 Presidents Budget Submission

FY 2018 Pres Bud Ops_AVS Only_FINAL 052617 (002)

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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).