AIA Applauds FAA Plan to Advance Domestic Uses of Beneficial Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
Arlington, Va. – The Aerospace Industries Association today lauded the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement of the agency’s Roadmap for “Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System (NAS).” FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta addressed the roadmap—which outlines the concrete actions needed to enable UAS integration into the NAS—at a Civil UAS Forum Thursday hosted by AIA’s President and Chief Executive Officer Marion C. Blakey.
“The American aerospace industry is eager to support the integration into our domestic airspace of UAS systems that will help save and improve lives in a variety of ways,” said Blakey. “We’re very pleased that through this roadmap and other actions, FAA is making significant progress toward meeting the congressional mandate of UAS domestic integration by 2015. This is a major step forward for realizing the full promise of aviation’s next great frontier.”
Huerta also discussed at the AIA-sponsored forum newly announced FAA actions to ensure that public privacy concerns are addressed in the management of six upcoming UAS test sites around the country, and to help the agency’s Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) address the remaining technical challenges of enabling UAS systems to work for the benefit of our society and economy.
“We are dedicated to working with stakeholders in this growing industry and with our government partners to safely integrate [UAS] into the world’s most complex airspace,” Huerta said. “While aviation is unquestionably an industry known for innovation, it is also an industry with a strong history of collaboration between government and industry. The United States is recognized as the ‘gold standard’ for aviation safety, efficiency and technology. And we need to keep it that way.”
AIA has been advocating for the beneficial civil uses of UAS Systems, with Blakey noting they have tremendous potential for applications such as firefighting, severe storm forecasting, search and rescue, precision agriculture, pipeline monitoring, wildlife conservation and eventually cargo delivery. Domestic UAS also have the potential to create thousands of jobs, as the FAA predicts 30,000 UAS will be operating in our domestic air space within the next 20 years.
“While much work remains before we reap the full promise of this technology, today’s announcement about FAA’s progress gives me, our industry, and the American public much reason for optimism,” said Blakey.