Release #: 15.43
October 28, 2015

ALPA Urges Congress to Increase FAA Oversight of All UAS Operations

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) today underscored the importance for Congress to direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to regulate all operations of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including recreational and hobby.

ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll testified [oral | written] before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee on the urgent need to address all aspects of UAS operations in order to protect the safety of the national airspace system.

“Pilot reports released by the FAA this summer make clear that more UAS encounters are happening,” Capt. Canoll said. “The number of near-miss events that have occurred in such a short period of time highlights the risk, and the growth in the use of UAS means that the hazard will only increase.”

While ALPA supports advancing America’s competitiveness through the use of UAS, safety is paramount. The association continues to work with stakeholders on establishing a framework that maintains safety while capitalizing on economic opportunities. Capt. Canoll highlighted ongoing efforts to safely integrate UAS, including ALPA’s four-part action plan with focused efforts on education, registration, technology, and penalties, and enforcement. Canoll also praised Secretary Foxx’s recent decision to create a national UAS registration database and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) efforts to introduce the Consumer Drone Safety Act, which calls for proper equipage and enforcement.

Capt. Canoll continued, “The FAA’s task force may be helpful, and ALPA is pleased to participate, but the sheer number of UAS anticipated to be sold in the near future means we need swift action. As noncommercial and recreational UAS operations appear to be the primary source of recent reports, we urge Congress to direct the FAA to regulate the UAS operated for recreation and hobby.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 52,000 pilots at 30 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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