The proposed Commercial UAS Modernization Act is earning a big thumbs-up from stakeholder groups.

AUVSI Urges More Liberal FAA Regulations

The Consumer Electronics Association’s market research expects 2015 to be a defining year for unmanned aerial systems.

“According to our recent economic research, the U.S. will reach one million UAS flights per day within the next 20 years — as long as we have the right policy environment in place,” explained Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) vice president Douglas Johnson. “A safety-focused, lightly-regulated UAS market will bring better access to the game-changing innovations drones can deliver — sometimes quite literally — from the rapid dispatch of first-responder supplies, to safer work environments for our inspection and repair crews, to more efficient, less polluting commercial delivery systems.

"And by responsibly integrating drones into our transportation system," said Johnson, "we’ll be able to cut back on city traffic, use less fuel and produce lower levels of carbon emissions.”

Sponsored and introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), the Commercial UAS Modernization Act drew similar high praise from Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) president and chief executive officer Bryan Wynne. “AUVSI appreciates the efforts of Senators Booker and Hoeven to accelerate the safe integration of UAS in the National Airspace System,” Wynne said today. “Their proposed legislation elevates UAS as a national priority, ensuring the industry can quickly and safely take off in the U.S. and keep pace with other countries that already have more permissive UAS regulations. The sooner we allow the broader use of this technology, the more quickly the U.S. will realize the many societal and economic benefits of UAS.”

According to AUVSI’s economic impact report, the UAS industry will represent an $82-billion segment of the U.S. economy and generate more than 100,000 new high-paying technical jobs within 10 years of integration. Conversely, each day the rulemaking is delayed, the U.S. loses a projected $27 million in economic impact. 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.

CEA market research expects 2015 to be a defining year for unmanned systems. According to the association’s projections, the global market for consumer UAS will approach $130 million in revenue in 2015, increasing by more than 50 percent from 2014; unit sales of consumer UAS are expected to approach 425,000, an increase of 65 percent. “By seeking to advance the safe deployment and integration of commercial drones in the U.S.,” said Johnson, CEA vice president, technology policy, “this bill recognizes the need to make the most of what could be a one billion dollar technology market.” CEA is the technology trade association representing the $286-billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of membership, including legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships.

The Commercial UAS Modernization Act would act as a placeholder under permanent Federal Aviation Administration rules are in place.