The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) recently announced the “Drone Prepared” initiative. This initiative was created to help lawmakers ensure that their state or locality is ready for the benefits that autonomous and uncrewed flight will bring to their communities.
The United States already sees tremendous benefits from commercial drone operations. Drones are proving to be a crucial tool for infrastructure inspections, package delivery, agricultural surveying, and aerial mapping, to name a few. Drones are also used extensively by public safety agencies such as fire departments, law enforcement, and emergency management.
“Michael Healander, President & CEO at Airspace Link, and AUVSI Premium Member, commented, “State, local, and tribal governments have a key role to play in the growing drone economy and the Drone Prepared campaign provides critical resources for communities to understand the complex, evolving industry and begin preparing in ways that will welcome the industry, and its benefits, to their geographies.”
AUVSI Seeks Logical Airspace Regulation
AUVSI will use its robust network of chapters and local advocates to educate lawmakers at the state, local, and tribal levels about how they can prepare for the continued use of drones in our economy and society.
During nationwide legislative sessions in 2023, AUVSI will support legislative proposals in states nationwide that:
- Promote drone use for public benefit
- Recognize the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over airspace navigation and safety
- Leverage existing laws that already address concerns like privacy and trespass; and
- Promote technology neutrality
AUVSI supports the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the central airspace regulator in the United States. AUVSI is concerned that regulating airspace at the state level would inhibit the growth and development of the drone industry. Concerns about state-level regulation include the long time needed to develop drone toll roads and how it could place an undue financial burden on UAS technology. The organization is also concerned that fragmented access to low-level airspace will negatively affect safety in the national airspace.
AUVSI further states that establishing laws that vary from state to state would create a myriad of complex and confusing regulations that would inhibit the growth of this revolutionary industry. The regulation of low-level airspace would also increase congestion in higher airspace, increasing the chance of collisions.