ARLINGTON, Va. – Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), today issued the following statement on the introduction of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, a six-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The legislation was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).
“While we are still reviewing the specifics of the FAA reauthorization bill, we want to thank Chairmen Shuster and LoBiondo for recognizing the importance of commercial UAS operations and the need to move toward full integration into the national airspace. AUVSI is committed to ensuring that UAS are integrated in a manner that ensures the safety of all aircraft – manned and unmanned. The FAA reauthorization is critical for expanding the commercial use of UAS that pose no additional risk to the nation’s airspace.
“The legislation includes provisions that AUVSI has been advocating during the last year. These policies will accelerate the safe use of commercial UAS as well as expand collaborative research and operational efforts. First, the bill seeks to expedite the safe deployment of commercial UAS by creating a risk-based permitting process. A flexible regulatory framework for UAS will allow the FAA to accommodate innovation, rather than require new rules each time a new technology emerges.
“Second, the bill calls for an advisory committee to focus on developing a UAS traffic management system that will help integrate UAS into the existing national airspace infrastructure and ensure the continued safety of the airspace.
“While these provisions are helpful for the safe and efficient development of UAS throughout the country, we look forward to working with the members of the committee to enhance the UAS sections.
“As the Congress addresses FAA reauthorization, the FAA needs to continue its work to finalize its long-awaited rule for small UAS. Putting the rule in place will provide a clear regulatory framework around UAS and allow for more widespread commercial use. UAS have already transformed the way some businesses operate and created several new companies across the nation. During the first decade following UAS integration, the industry is forecast to create more than 100,000 jobs and provide more than $82 billion in economic impact. With the right regulatory environment, there’s no question these numbers could go higher.”
Earlier this week, AUVSI released its priorities for FAA reauthorization, many of which are addressed in the bill.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents more than 7,500 members from more than 60 countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.