The Small UAV Coalition is neither surprised nor disappointed by the recent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruling, which provides that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority to take enforcement action against operators of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, the Coalition urges the FAA to focus its attention and resources on achievements that will allow for the timely and safe operation of small UAVs.
The FAA is already behind its deadline to integrate commercial UAVs into the national airspace, and we understand that the forthcoming draft rule for small UAS will not address the realities of today’s UAV technology, such as varying degrees of autonomy and the ability to perform operations beyond line of sight. Consumers and the industry would be better served if the FAA focused its limited resources on ways to bring the United States UAV industry up to speed with other countries, by allowing domestic manufacturers to conduct research and development on their own property, or by addressing the over 100 outstanding petitions for exemption under section 333. Critical time already has been wasted, costing US competitiveness in the global marketplace.
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