The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is congratulating Marke “Hoot” Gibson and Earl Lawrence on their appointments to key positions at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The two men will guide the FAA’s approach to safe, timely and efficient integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. airspace. Gibson was named senior advisor on UAS Integration and will report to the FAA deputy administrator. Lawrence was named director of the UAS Integration Office within the FAA's Aviation Safety organization.

“I am encouraged by the appointments of these two highly qualified public servants to further develop public policy for unmanned aircraft systems,” says Brian Wynne, AUVSI president and CEO. “Mr. Gibson’s service in the Air Force and Mr. Lawrence’s experience as director of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate will provide valuable knowledge, perspective and insight as the commercial UAS industry seeks to get off the ground.”

Wynne says the appointments of these positions are a sign of the growth and importance of the UAS industry in the aviation community. He notes UAS are projected to create more than 100,000 jobs in the first decade following integration into the U.S. airspace, which prioritizes establishing the kind of regulatory environment where UAS can thrive. “It is our hope that increasing resources and staff focused on UAS will allow the FAA to quickly finalize its anticipated rules on small UAS,” says Wynne. “AUVSI and its members look forward to working with Mr. Gibson and Mr. Lawrence, so that these and future rulemakings safely integrate UAS into the U.S. airspace.”

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