The formation of an industry-led Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) has been announced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to devise recommendations for the FAA’s strategy regarding the certification, authorization, permitting, or allowance of UAS detection and mitigation systems, commonly referred to as counter-UAS (cUAS).

The industry co-chairs of the ARC have been selected by the FAA and are comprised of leadership from AUVSI and Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA). AUVSI and ACI-NA collaborated on the Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports in 2019, which generated a report containing cUAS policy recommendations and a preliminary UAS incident response plan for airports. Michael Robbins, AUVSI’s Chief Advocacy Officer, and Matt Cornelius, ACI-NA’s Executive Vice President, have been appointed as the ARC co-chairs from industry.

In order to provide comprehensive guidance on the technical intricacies of advancing cUAS technologies, and their correlation with compliant commercial drones, AUVSI is creating a cUAS Technical Advisory Group (TAG). This group will extend support to the ARC industry co-chairs, from the standpoint of drone manufacturers and operators, cUAS firms, and subject matter experts.

Companies interested in participating on the TAG should submit their request here. There is no cost for participation on the AUVSI TAG.

It is worth noting that specific details regarding the ARC’s work will be confined to ARC members only, in accordance with FAA regulations. Nevertheless, AUVSI will regularly consult with the TAG for technical guidance during the ARC process. AUVSI will request feedback on several topics, including operating requirements, societal benefits, system requirements, and effects on airport and non-airport sites. The ARC, which was compelled by Congress as part of Section 383 (Airport Safety and Airspace Hazard Mitigation Enforcement) of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-254), will develop recommendations for the FAA’s plan to authorize the deployment of UAS detection and mitigation technologies or systems, as well as any relevant standards that may need to be created. The ARC is set to commence on May 23, 2023, and will release its final report in 2024. The FAA will utilize the recommendations contained in the ARC’s report to inform the ultimate plan for the increased use of UAS detection and mitigation systems. Ultimately, the recommendations outlined in this report will inform future rulemaking and other crucial initiatives regarding cUAS.

The cUAS TAG will also be consulted by AUVSI as it relates to other ongoing technical work by other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and others. Policy work related to the Executive Branch and Capitol Hill, including reauthorization of the Emerging Threats Act, will remain exclusively with the AUVSI Air Advocacy Committee.

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