Letter Sent To Acting Administrator Huerta Supporting His Position Urges 'Responsible Integration'
A coalition of 20 aviation organizations has written a letter to acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta supporting his recent remarks on the agency's commitment to safely integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations into the National Airspace System (NAS).
The letter's authors say that they understand that the agency has "a number of initiatives underway supporting the integration of UAS into the NAS, and appreciate your recent comments that a number of challenges remain in this area. It is our belief that for FAA to succeed, the agency must remain focused on safety rather than privacy issues, where the FAA has no statutory standing or technical expertise."
The letter goes on to say that the industry feels that, as a goal, "the FAA should ensure that the introduction of UAS into the NAS not limit access to airspace or require modifications to the existing fleet of aircraft flying in the NAS beyond what is already currently anticipated to accommodate NextGen. The importance of airspace access cannot be overstated and FAA must aggressively protect its preeminent role as manager of the national airspace system. Lastly, it is important that the FAA ensure that the focus on UAS integration does not hinder agency progress on areas like certification of civil aircraft, repair stations, or operators where delays are already too commonplace or program improvements are lagging."
The industry leaders say know that it is inevitable that "remotely-piloted aircraft" will be a part of the aviation landscape in the future. They wrote the letter to urge the acting Administrator to see that they are "responsibly integrated" into the NAS in a way that makes sense for both the UAS industry, but does not detract from safety under the current aviation system.