Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

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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12 unmanned systems inside   December 2017/January 2018 partner with their casinos, hotels and police to secure high rise buildings around events. Mississippi can part- ner with their oil companies to set up a BLOS corridor from the coast to oil rigs offshore. Instead of using homeless people as hot spots dur- ing the SXSW music festival (yeah, someone did that in 2012), Austin can hire students to f ly drone hot spots over crowds using procedures CNN developed in the Pathfinder Program. What's illegal to do above 200 feet could be legal in Nevada, Mississippi and Texas under IP2. Perhaps states can explore concepts like paying for their programs by licensing companies and remote pi- lots to engage in certain operations (BLOS? Operations over people?) by collecting enforcement fees from scoff laws and, who knows, maybe even selling transit corridors to the highest bidder. IP2 has a three-year limit, potentially giving winning lo- cal authorities a massive lead in at- tracting drone businesses over the rest of the country. The heart of the matter is that Trump (and Causby's heroic chickens) are taking the country from manag- ing low altitude drone operations like we manage manned aircraft into po- tentially a different sort of manage- ment system. Will local management be like the FAA, but faster? Will we manage low altitude drones like we do cars and highways? Will this end up as the dreaded patchwork of laws with some localities making it harder to fly drones? Will localities find the techni- cal policy support they need to write rational low altitude drone laws? I think we'll end up with a hybrid local drone regulation system that takes the best of both worlds from manned aviation and highway man- agement systems. Smart localities will follow aviation guidelines on airworthiness, strict safety protocols tracked by web-based systems and use of an unmanned traffic manage- ment (UTM) system. The smartest localities will improve on FA A un- manned standards. Want to f ly your drone below 200 feet in Orlando? Make sure you have a Florida drone license from a certified Florida drone training school that requires you to demonstrate f lying skills instead of just taking an online test like the FA A requires. You'll need a UTM subscription and the latest geofenc- ing data to f ly in Florida. Disney airspace is a Florida "no drone zone" and the Florida Highway Patrol WILL ticket you for violations. What We Can Learn from Our Highways The interstate highway system is a great model for local drone regula- tion. We tend to forget why driving is almost the same from state to state because the states harmonized their laws decades ago. Other than slightly more potholes and Louisiana state-specific "gator crossing" signs, there's not much difference cross- ing over the Sabine River from Texas into Louisiana. Everyone uses the same stop signs and keeps roads in good repair (mostly). We may not get along with Alabama during foot- ball season, but our state roads in Mississippi match up just fine with the state roads in Alabama. The road signs are the same and the speed laws are nearly the same. 'Bama will ticket you for texting and driving, but for some reason you can still do it in Mississippi. The real advantage in the IP2 pro- gram might go to compacts of states or cities using the interstate high- way example. Maybe the key players won't be individual states but states who band together to harmonize their drone laws like they harmo- nized their driving laws. Maybe the southern states will set up interstate BLOS corridors across their borders like they do state roads. It might be legal to f ly BLOS below 200 feet from Natchez to New Orleans with harmonized Mississippi/Louisiana drone laws years before it's legal to do it at 400 feet with federal rules. Heck, the Mississippi River would make a GREAT interstate drone transit corridor. What IP2 Means for the Future All in all, I think the IP2 initiative will be a boon to early adopters and an even bigger boon when the rest of the nation joins in. I know thoughts o f a patchwork of local laws causes angst to many in the commercial drone business, but let's be honest— they were never going to be able to force their way into local markets. It is bad business to begin with, and the ghosts of Causby's chickens have always given local authorities a legal argument to regulate at least some airspace. IP2 formalizes this and gives us an innovative, and hopefully faster, way to work out the future. I know I'll be reaching out to several localities to lend a hand where I can. I say we all eat some Carolina BBQ chicken this month in honor of the real reason we just took a giant leap forward in droning! General Overview

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