On May 3, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced the establishment of a Drone Advisory Committee (“DAC”) intended to increase transparency and collaboration between the FAA and key stakeholders in the ongoing effort to develop and implement an overall integration strategy for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”).
The DAC comes on the heels of the FAA’s formation of the UAS registration task force last year and the MicroUAS aviation rulemaking committee this spring. With the success of those smaller groups, and with the anticipated role out of the “small drone rule” in June, this more permanent committee evidences the FAA’s commitment to the broader integration of commercial drones and a recognition that a partnership with industry is critical to addressing emerging issues in this rapidly evolving industry.
The FAA will be working with the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (“RTCA”) on the selection process of the DAC and membership is expected to include C-suite executives from key industry stakeholders. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta will be the Designated Federal Official and Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, has been tapped to chair the DAC. Huerta said, “Input from stakeholders is critical to our ability to achieve that perfect balance between integration and safety … We know that our policies and overall regulation of this segment of aviation will be more successful if we have the backing of a strong, diverse coalition.”
Those interested in membership in the DAC are encouraged to complete the Registration of Interest form by May 19, 2016. The final selection of members is expected by May 31, 2016.