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Wed, Jun 05, 2019

FAA Announces Drone Safety Push At First Day Of UAS Symposium

Agency Planning A Series Of Nationwide Events Focused On The Safe Operation Of Drones

Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell has announced National Drone Safety Awareness Week, a planned series of nationwide events focused on the safe operation of drones, at the UAS Symposium being held in Baltimore, MD.

 
"We want everyone in on the conversation," he said.
 
AUVSI will be a key partner in the week, including through Know Before You Fly, the public education campaign started by AUVSI, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the FAA.
 
"We're thinking outside the box," Elwell said. "We want to be more than the regulator" and to be an enabler.
 
Drone safety is actually the cornerstone for integration into the airspace, several speakers said on Monday, including Elwell.
 
"As we move toward integration, it's not the stuff of technology, nor development, nor application ... it remains all about safety," he said. "Safety should remain fundamental to our collective foundation. Make no mistake, that foundation is safety. If it's not safe, it's not going to fly."
 
Remote identification — that is, being able to identify the operator of any drone — is one way to help achieve safety and is critical to allowing more complicated operations such as flights over people and package delivery and even urban air mobility, or flying taxis.
 
"Without remote ID, there will be no safe, secure integration into the National Airspace System," said Jay Merkle, executive director of the FAA UAS Integration Office.
 
"I think there's broad agreement that we need to get that [remote ID] done as soon as possible," AUVSI President and CEO Brian Wynne said in an afternoon panel discussion on the FAA reauthorization bill.
 
He noted that later this week will see the first meeting of a new Blue Ribbon Task Force on counter-UAS efforts at airports, a safety feature that could rely on remote ID to be effective. Wynne said airport operators need to know the difference between rogue, unauthorized drones and those that are supplying critical services such as airplane fuselage inspection.
 
Earl Lawrence, executive director of the FAA Aircraft Certification Office, said the entire industry must "fully embrace the safety culture. That is the only thing that is going to keep this industry alive, otherwise you are going to see regulation like you have never seen it before."
 
The conference continues at the Baltimore Convention Center through Wednesday.

(Image provided with AUVSI news release)

FMI: www.auvsi.org

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