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.