Operators of unmanned aircraft systems in the United States should be allowed use beyond line-of-sight and at nighttime.

AUVSI Urges More Liberal FAA Regulations

AUVSI is urging regulations that would allow more entrepreneurial use of unmanned aircraft systems.

So says the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The group submitted comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today recommending the FAA’s proposed rule for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) establish a flexible regulatory framework, including beyond-line-of-sight and nighttime operations. “This rule represents a good first step in the evolutionary process that brings us closer to realizing the many societal and economic benefits this technology offers,” said Brian Wynne, AUVSI president and chief executive officer. “However, we need to permit more expansive uses of UAS than those contemplated in the draft rules. Otherwise, we risk stunting a still-nascent industry, and restricting the many great uses of this technology.”

AUVSI’s comments urge the adoption of a risk-based, technology-neutral approach to regulation, focusing on the risk profile of a particular UAS operation instead of solely regulating the platform being flow. This approach, the association says, has been successful in other countries with growing commercial UAS industries. AUVSI further argues:

  • Beyond-line-of-sight operations would allow for farmers to use UAS to cover large fields and gather data that will increase crop yields and save money.
  • Nighttime operations would aid in disaster relief and search and rescue operations that take place outside of daylight hours.

“As written, the rule allows for many uses of UAS,” says Wynne, “but UAS regulations can, and should, allow more. Allowing beyond-line-of-sight operations and nighttime operations would open up a whole new world for this technology.”

AUVSI supports the safe and responsible integration of UAS in order to unlock the tremendous potential the technology holds while helping to boost local economies and create jobs. An economic impact report from AUVSI found that the UAS industry would add more than 100,000 jobs and $82 billion to the economy in the first 10 years after integration into the national airspace system. The world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics, AUVSI represents more than 7,500 members from 60-plus allied countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.