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“FAA Establishes Drone Advisory Council”

Safe and Sound By Margaret Utterback

On May 3, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced the formation of a new UAS Advisory Committee, or Drone Advisory Council (“DAC”). The formation of the DAC continues the FAA’s emphasis on safety of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) operating in the national airspace system.

The FAA, acknowledging the increasing commercialization of drones, has focused extensive attention on related safety concerns. Other stakeholders have been concerned with maximizing opportunities for the efficient integration of drones in the national airspace system.

The DAC will operate to identify and propose actions to the FAA intended to prioritize integration challenges and improvements. The DAC includes stakeholder participation, and builds on successful prior efforts to include stakeholder groups in developing drone regulations: the stakeholder-based UAS registration task force and the MicroUAS aviation rulemaking committee. Membership on the DAC will include a variety of UAS industry players, including industry, government, research, retail, and technology.

The goal of the DAC is to navigate the challenges of integrating UAS into the national airspace system in a way that is both efficient and safe, while having broad support from interested parties.