Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on FAA’s issuance of proposed regulations for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
Arlington, Va. — By issuing draft regulations for the use of small unmanned aircraft systems, FAA has taken an important step towards the integration of UAS into civil airspace. The issuance of these proposed regulations is a key element of government and industry efforts to foster safe operations in both civil and military applications of remotely piloted aircraft while further encouraging research and development of UAS technologies. We believe this step will pave the way for additional service organizations and industries to explore expanded operations and use of UAS technologies.
Even though Congress has mandated a deadline in 2015 for integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. airspace, that deadline will probably not be met. However, increasing attention from many sources outside the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is focused on how safety concerns will be addressed.
AIA’s Spring Board of Governors and Membership Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia attracted executives from 88 of the association’s full member companies. The extensive program featured an excellent lineup of senior administration and industry officials and seasoned commentators and experts, including: Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation; Robert O. Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L); author and political pundit Charlie Cook; Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, International Air Transport Association; Fred Hochberg, Chairman, Export-Import Bank of the United States; and author, professor Jonah Berger.
We recognize that many subjects related to our industry can be very complex. Accordingly, for reporters covering aerospace and defense, it often pays to take the time to provide them with detailed and useful information about their focus of interest. At AIA, we are committed to working closely with journalists to give them the background they need to get their stories right. Our communications department fields dozens of calls every day from reporters and either responds directly to information requests, sets up interviews with myself and/or our policy experts, or if appropriate, have them reach out to member companies.
Today’s Washington Post story, “When Drones Fall from the Sky” ignores critical factors regarding safety of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in a misguided article that could frighten readers about the impending integration of UAS into the national airspace system. From the opening sentence, the author refers to “a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic,” when in fact, the safety records of military aircraft – which the author admits are improving and haven’t cost a single life – have little to do with future safe commercial operations of unmanned systems in domestic airspace on which the FAA is working diligently.
With support from AIA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on November 7 unveiled a long-awaited milestone for integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into our national airspace. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta invited AIA to represent industry as his agency released its integration roadmap which addresses current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures required to integrate unmanned aircraft on a routine basis.