The AUVSI Foundation and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently hosted the “Workshop on Drones and the Future of Aviation.” The workshop brought together leaders from industry, academia and government to define a vision for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration and discuss the policies needed to make the vision a reality.

“Safely integrating drones into our airspace is one of the FAA’s top priorities, and we’re determined to get it right. It’s essential for our economy and our role as a global aviation leader,” said Michael Huerta, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

He opened the morning session at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus and reiterated the FAA’s commitment to UAS integration into the national airspace.

Following Huerta’s remarks, industry and government representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Intel, NOAA and Edison Electric Institute briefly spoke about how UAS were helping save time, money and lives.

Later, a panel on innovative uses of UAS in government and industry was moderated by Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

“It’s incumbent on industry to bring technology solutions to the marketplace,” Wynne said as he convened the panel, which included representatives from Trumbull Unmanned, Lockheed Martin, Google and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership.
In an afternoon session at the Newseum, researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Stanford University conducted live UAS flight demonstrations. Afterwards, facilitators convened six breakout discussions with workshop participants on major UAS policy areas: low-altitude airspace management, expanded operations for small UAS, implementing comprehensive integration into the national airspace, privacy, spectrum and UAS security. A report on the policy discussions will be published soon to help inform future UAS policymaking and innovation.


The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents more than 7,500 members from more than 60 countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.