Who is Going to Standup for American Aerospace?

Uncrewed, unimaginative, untenable, and unsustainable. It used to only be the Flag and the Liberty Bell, but we’re BEYOND that now. Unfortunately, the current geopolitical reality indicates that the USA is on a steep decline arc in political hegemony, technological capabilities, and economic strength. Maybe folks have woken up and noticed that they were dependent upon a global supply chain that, by-in-large, comes from or travels through the South China Sea? 

For the benefit of establishing a baseline, let me say that I see Unmanned systems transcending the domains of Land, Air, Sea, and Space. No one can deny that the USA is capable of great technological and social achievements. So why is it that we have a situation where technology is obstructed by bureaucracy? Is it lobbied for protectionism, the pettiness of political administrations, or have folks just thrown in the towel on a square game? Some say this nonsense is just a part of doing business; I say, yeah, sure, in a country aspiring to be on par with Venezuela. 

Advocacy is defined by Merriam-Webster The meaning of ADVOCACY is the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal: the act or process of advocating something. 

Missing is, line your own pockets while your domestic technology and industrial base erode. Some who have been around the regulatory cracker barrel for a couple of decades watched in dismay as leads in technology and manufacturing were given away. Others just withered on the vine to be bought up by the Chinese for pennies on the dollar. Meanwhile, the bureaucrats, consultants, and lobbyists did their best conjecture-based Chicken Little routine. 

This idea I see as not only pragmatic but timely, and the goals are attainable and necessary.

American Drone Advocacy and Policy Team

https://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=2rxc7D6QYDw

Any advocacy effort that wasn’t headed up or supported by the Chinese toy company was ridiculed and scorned by the VC-vested sell-phone app hipsters and selfie-droners sycophants. You almost can’t blame the stooges because, without the #1 Happy Good Luck Quadcopter Company, there is no drone ecosystem for them. Of course, the cut and paste favor waiver cabal “experts” are right behind and go along to get paid along and don’t want anyone horning in on their only porkchop. The FAA and other agencies were all too happy to go along with the chuckle fest too, as they don’t like folks who point out the high-dollar dysfunction. 

Call me crazy, but I believe the rules and regulations promulgated by the FAA should consider National Security and economic viability. Many “experts” and “advocates” believe those concerns to be old-fashioned, nationalistic, and protectionist. Folks say that manufacturing is so twentieth century. Just like the notion of STEM/STEAM careers and a tax base that supports essential public services like trash pickup. 

The handwriting and handwringing is on the wall. I think a few hundred thousand (less than a nonprofit CEOs current salary for sure) would be enough to get the ball rolling on a grassroots lobby effort with messaging that almost sells itself. At this point, a factsheet or two with simple graphs and some one-liners could be enough to put points on the scoreboard. Nothing too deep, mind you; a little peer reviewable science, GA fatality numbers comparison, and a few statistics-based graphs about Chinese hardware dominance could go a long way. If you wanted to go totally nuts a leaded dinosaur juice fueled aircraft economy vs. electric drone carbon footprint/climate change comparison. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret: most folks flying under the favor waivers are coloring outside the lines. They know it, the consultants know it, and so does the FAA. The FAA tells people to keep inconsistencies and legal avenues of operating under their hat as they don’t want everyone doing it. Does that sound like a first-world policy posture to you?

@TheDroneDealer on Twitter 

By 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).