Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 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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Q+A 66 unmanned systems inside August/September 2017 Q G F Q: How do you think corporatization would impact UAS integration? a: If we're working on going forward in corporatization you match your demand with your resources. Today you can't do that. (The FAA is) limited, extremely limited by a number of different activities— financing being one of them. NANCY GRAHAM is president of Graham Aerospace International LLC. She was the director of the Air Navigation Bureau and director of the Asia Pacifi c Region for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Prior to that she served as deputy director and then senior executive at the Federal Aviation Admi nistration. Q: In countries with privatized air traffi c control, who takes the lead for integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)? a: It's in partnership. …First of all the FAA is continuing to do a great job under the structure that it has …but it's limited because of the legislative capability that they have. …Corporatization means you can work under corporate-type rules or corporate-type structure without having to have a profit motivation—so it can be wholly owned by the government and still be able to work under business- kind of rules. …(Corporatization) will be helpful when it comes to the need for partnerships with industry, when it comes to the need for infrastructure in the future, because the systems that are being proposed by these new innovators may very well, in the longer term replace the existing air traffic control system that the U.S. has today. Let's hope that it does. …Today the system is quite limited based on its architecture. Q: Congress pushed the FAA to focus on integrating UAS. How would it be different under corporatization? a: It's clear that there's tremendous demand and tremendous opportunity for innovation but the FAA doesn't have the ability to scale up like you would normally do if you were run like a business. Now that could mean that the regulator charges for those services. …It may mean a different financial model. But those companies would be delighted to welcome some type of different structure that would enable more resources being put on this. Q: What about concerns corporatization would delay UAS integration? a: I don't think it would delay it but I think it's critically important that FAA be left standing with a very strong regulatory capability to ensure safety. …What everyone will tell you, almost to a country (among the nation's with privatized air traffic control) is that in the beginning they …too many capable people to the air navigation service provider, to the corporatized entity—not enough brain power stayed behind in the regulator. So that's something the FAA has to be careful about and I think, if anything, that's what might delay implementation. Q: There are worries a corporatized organization would be heavily infl uenced by the airlines—and airline pilots have been wary of unmanned aircraft. How would that impact making this work? a: If I understand the legislation there will be seats on the board for the airlines. That's true in the United Kingdom. That's true in most (nations). They're a customer right? So you need to listen to what they say. They're an operator in the system. I don't see it as anything other than healthy. Five Good Questions NANCY GRAHAM

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