Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), recently issued an appreciative statement on the introduction of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act. It is a six-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The legislation was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).

While the specifics of the FAA reauthorization bill are still being reviewed, Wynne said the AUVSI wanted to thank Chairmen Shuster and LoBiondo for recognizing the importance of commercial UAS operations and the need to move toward full integration into the national airspace.

“The legislation includes provisions that AUVSI has been advocating during the last year. These policies will accelerate the safe use of commercial UAS as well as expand collaborative research and operational efforts,” Wynne said. “First, the bill seeks to expedite the safe deployment of commercial UAS by creating a risk-based permitting process. A flexible regulatory framework for UAS will allow the FAA to accommodate innovation, rather than require new rules each time a new technology emerges.”

Second, he said the bill calls for an advisory committee to focus on developing a UAS traffic management system that will help integrate UAS into the existing national airspace infrastructure and ensure the continued safety of the airspace.

“While these provisions are helpful for the safe and efficient development of UAS throughout the country, we look forward to working with the members of the committee to enhance the UAS sections.

Wynne finished by stressing that the FAA needs to continue its work to finalize its rule for small UAS. “Putting the rule in place will provide a clear regulatory framework around UAS and allow for more widespread commercial use. UAS have already transformed the way some businesses operate and created several new companies across the nation. … With the right regulatory environment, there’s no question these numbers could go higher.”

About AUVSI

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world's largest 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.