Keeping the Spotlight on UAS Safety

Earlier today, I testified before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee and discussed the urgent need to address all aspects of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations in order to protect the safety of the U.S. national airspace system.

This was the second time this month that ALPA was called to Capitol Hill regarding this important issue, allowing us the opportunity to reiterate the importance for Congress to direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to regulate all operations of UAS, including recreational and hobby use.

While ALPA supports advancing America’s competitiveness through the use of UAS, safety is paramount. Recently, we launched a four-part action plan to safely integrate UAS with focused efforts on education, registration, technology, and penalties, and enforcement.

In addition, our continued work with stakeholders helps establish a framework that maintains safety while capitalizing on economic opportunities. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s recent decision to create a national UAS registration database will streamline a registration process for individuals and businesses that operate these devices. And Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) efforts to introduce the Consumer Drone Safety Act would help ensure that UAS are equipped with active technologies to help avoid a collision with manned aircraft and ensure that regulations are enforced.

The number of near-miss events that have occurred in such a short period of time highlights the risk, and the growth in UAS use means the hazard will only increase. We need swift action and once again urge Congress to direct the FAA to regulate all UAS. 

Categories: Advocacy, Testimony