Dan Elwell, the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), delivered the keynote speech opening the Interdrone conference earlier this month. His remarks predictably emphasized a concern for safety. He mentioned a number of regulatory hurdles facing the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drone) industry, namely remote identification and unmanned traffic management (UTM). He also mentioned privacy and public opinion very briefly in his speech. But how close are we to finding workable solutions to these problems? Expected legislation may help to address some of these concerns, but the UAS industry will still need more in order to fully integrate into the National Airspace System (NAS).
At 11:00 AM tomorrow, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, the House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing titled, “Taking Flight: Small Business Utilization of Unmanned Aircraft.” The hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building and webcast, here.
According to the Committee’s press release, the purpose is to examine how small businesses will use unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) for commercial purposes, recognizing that the FAA is working to integrate UAS in the national airspace system and proposed a rule to permit commercial operation of small UAS. It also noted that the “FAA expects that small businesses will conduct the majority of commercial operations.”
Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) will give the opening statement, followed by testimony from the following witnesses:
- Mr. Brian Wynne, President & CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Arlington, VA
- Mr. Mike Gilkey, CEO and Director of Flight Operations, 3D Aerial Solutions LLC, Dayton, OH
- Mr. Brian Streem, CEO/Founder, AeroCine, Brooklyn, NY
- Dr. Tim McLain, Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Director of the Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT