Drone Advisory Committee Considers Important Taskings 

On January 31, 2017, the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) – a multi-stakeholder advisory group to the FAA for discussing three critical challenges to integration: 

(i) Defining the various roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments in regulating UAS and       enforcing of UAS rules and laws. 

(ii) Identifying the technological and regulatory mechanisms that will allow UAS operators to gain access to the        airspace beyond what the agency currently permits under the 14 CFR part 107 (the Small UAS Rule). 

(iii) Finding the mechanisms and resources to fund the expanded provision of services needed to support UAS         integration. 

Those in the UAS industry or interested in the applications of UAS technology should be mindful of the DAC’s priorities and the following developments: 

1. The FAA announced the first certification basis for UAS for AeroVironment Puma. 

2. DAC sub-committee task group responsible for federal, state, and local governments will address: 

a. Identifying specific state and local interests in the regulation of UAS use. 

b. Determine whether a portion of the low altitude UAS airspace can be delegated to local and state regulation.

c. Determine the mechanisms for enforcement of federal safety and airspace rules and regulations by local and     state government and the possibility of parallel and/or complementary enforcement mechanisms.


3. The DAC subcommittee task group dedicated to airspace access will address: 

a. Expedited procedures for UAS airworthiness certification the 

b. Determine appropriate technology and mechanisms to facilitate autonomous command and control functions     (such as spectrum allocations, satellite, and wireless cell). 

c. Provide recommendations for revised operational requirements which may allow for UAS operations beyond     those currently permitted under the Small UAS Rule (i.e., beyond visual line of sight operations). 

4. The DAC subcommittee task group determining what activities and services are necessary to address: 

a. Safe integration of UAS into NAS. 

b. Assess what funding resources are needed. 

c. Identify what funding mechanisms should be utilized. The three DAC groups have numerous scheduled     discussions before the next DAC meeting in May of 2017.

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