AUVSI’s Wynne urges Congress to speed UAS regulations

By Patrick C. Miller | September 10, 2015

Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), today told a U.S. House subcommittee that regulations are quickly needed to enable beyond-visual-line-of-sight UAS operations at night over populated areas.

“We need to make sure we are doing all we can to support the UAS industry’s growth and development; otherwise we risk stunting a still-nascent industry, and restricting the many beneficial uses of this technology,” Wynne said in a prepared statement. “The longer we take, the more our nation risks losing its innovation edge, along with billions in economic impact.”

The Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held the hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building to examine unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the public policy implications for the new technology.

Darrell Issa, R-Calif., subcommittee chairman, said the hearing provides Congress with an opportunity to learn how it can balance the use of UAS technology while mitigating the security concerns that accompany the technology’s spread.”

In addition to Wynne, hearing witnesses included Chris Calabrese, vice president for policy, Center for Democracy & Technology; Chris Polychron, president, National Association of Realtors; and Tom Karol, general counsel for the Federal, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Judiciary Committee chairman, said that while UAS offer great potential for a variety of applications, the new technology also present challenges in such areas as privacy, safety and intellectual property.

Wynne said AUVSI’s economic impact study found that during the first decade after UAS integration into the national airspace, the industry will create more than 100,000 high-paying jobs and have an economic impact on the U.S. economy of more than $82 billion. He said the FAA has received more than 2,700 requests and granted more than 1,400 commercial exemptions.

Wynne noted that the absence of federal regulations means many businesses can’t fly until the rules are implemented.

“The current system of case-by-case approvals isn’t a long-term solution for the many commercial operators wanting to fly,” he said.

Wynne said it’s vital that Congress passes—and the President signs into law—an FAA reauthorization measure before the current authorization expires on Sept. 30.

“This policy measure is critical for accelerating and expanding the commercial use of UAS and the most immediate way to encourage collaboration between governmental and private sector stakeholders,” he said.

 

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