Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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LETTER WASHINGTON VIEW by DEE ANN DIVIS 29 unmanned systems inside June/July 2017 traffic management service providers—that kind of matches, I believe, what privatization of the entire airspace would look like," West said. "However, there are so many challenges with implementing that, and understanding what a fee structure would look like, that it could be potentially—if the fees are exorbi- tant—that could hinder the grow th of the commercial drone, or even the recreational drone, industry." Michael Drobac, an advisor to the Small UAV Coalition, said ATC corporatization could be a separate issue from UTM. "I don't think that the two are necessarily commingled." Members of both the House and the Senate have made it clear they would have to work through a number of issues. "What would corporatization mean?" Drobac said. "What would it capture? And you know I don't think that it's a necessary conclu- sion that an unmanned traffic management system would be within that realm." Flight Delays Drobac was less worried about new fees than about the securi- ty concerns delaying the f light- over-people rule. "The bigger issue is that the resource component of this is only relevant if you remove a lot of barriers to entry in the mar- ket and different types of expanded operations," he told Inside Unmanned Systems. It is unclear, he said, exactly what is holding up the f light-over-people rule, which was due out in December. "The complication, and I think the frustra- tion that exists in that industry, isn't that the industry is unprepared to have these discus- sions that may be complex," Drobac said. "It's that everyone is trying to find out where these discussions are taking place and what the issues are that have to be addressed." Chao told the lawmakers the White House had submitted draft legislation on the security issue to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees for inclusion in the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. "Under current law, the government is unable to fully evaluate or utilize essential detection, tracking, and mitigation technologies to coun- ter rapidly advancing safety and security risks that may be posed by errant or hostile UAS operations," she said. "The Administration's proposed legislation provides a tailored grant of authority within a framework that provides effective oversight and protects privacy, civil liberties, and airspace safety." The FAA is working with a variety of agen- cies, she said, including the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense and others "to identify and evaluate tech- nologies that detect and track unmanned aircraft movement." "Drones present unique secu- rity challenges," she said in her written testimony. "As Congress recognized in the FAA Exten- sion, Safety and Security Act of 2016 (FAA Extension) these challenges require a whole-of- government response." "We need action," Drobac said, "and I think continued discussions about areas where there may or may not be authority, where there may or may not be a (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), there may or may not be concerns—that is not conducive to having an honest and candid dialogue about how, as an industry, we can move forward and be a progressive nation on U.S. technology." The delays in more fully implementing drone operations are such, he said, that the United States is being left behind as innovation occurs elsewhere. "We are in a position now," Drobac said, "Where we are dangerously close to ceding our leadership in innovation. " U.S. AGENCIES WORKING ON DRONE SECURITY "WE ARE IN A POSITION NOW WHERE WE ARE DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO CEDING OUR LEADERSHIP IN INNOVATION." Michael Drobac, an advisor to the Small UAV Coalition

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