AIA’s Bahrami Speaks at UAS forum – AIA Releases New UAS Report

Ali Bahrami, AIA’s VP of Civil Aviation, was a featured panelist today at the K&L Gates, “Aviation’s Next Frontier – UAS Outlook for 2016” conference.  Bahrami set the tone for the Manufacturer/User Perspective panel following FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta’s keynote address.  While Bahrami was very positive about much of the progress made so far to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) into the National Airspace System (NAS), challenges remain.

“As the integration of UAS into the NAS matures, operational considerations such as not being able to operate Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights is a major issue for us,” Bahrami said.  “The other is Spectrum. UAS communications, both for command and control and any payload data transmission require electromagnetic spectrum. Ensuring there is adequate spectrum access for safe UAS operations remains a key area for AIA advocacy.”

Supporting his points, AIA distributed a new report to attendees, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Evolution and Opportunity – Regulatory Adaptation in a New Era of Flight.”  The report is also available here on the AIA website.

Since our last UAS report was published in 2013, the new report offers AIA’s perspectives on how government and industry should collaborate on developing regulations, policies, and procedures for integrating unmanned systems into our skies.

The extremely rapid growth of both consumer and commercial uses of UAS was made clear by Administrator Huerta when he noted that more than 325,000 people have registered as owners and operators of UAS in the United States since the FAA’s registration program began last December.  More than 2,000 people on average continue to register each day.  For comparison there are 320,000 manned aircraft registered in the U.S., Huerta said.

“Clearly, moving UAS safety into our aerospace system is one of the FAA’s highest priorities,” he said.

Huerta mentioned a new, simple FAA application for iPhone and Android that can be downloaded to provide UAS users easy guidance before they fly.  Called “B4UFly”, the app provides situational awareness of your proposed operational area and other UAS pre-flight resources.

“Change has always been a factor of aviation and industry moves at the speed of our imagination,” Huerta said.  By partnering, government and industry can successfully tackle current and future UAS challenges, he said.