Small UAV Coalition Applauds House Passage of Long-Term FAA Reauthorization
H.R. 4 Represents Important Step Towards Providing Long-Term Certainty for Safe and Continued Growth of Commercial UAS Industry in the United States
WASHINGTON, DC – April 27, 2018 – The Small UAV Coalition applauds the House of Representatives for today passing H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, with strong, bipartisan support. The legislation would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for six years and will support the continued growth of the commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry in the United States, as well as the safety of the national airspace.
In particular, the Coalition wishes to thank House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio, Aviation Subcommittee Chairman LoBiondo and Ranking Member Larsen, and Reps. Lipinski, Perry, Sanford, and Titus for their continued efforts to support innovation, safety, and security within the UAS industry.
Specifically, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018:
- Immediately expands opportunities to conduct commercial UAS operations in the United States by expanding the types of operations permissible under Part 107 and enhancing implementation through technology and transparency improvements.
- Supports US leadership in innovative commercial UAS applications by creating a pathway to safely enable ubiquitous UAS delivery operations through a rigorous, risk-based, air carrier certification process specifically tailored to UAS operators.
- Gives the FAA the flexibility it needs to appropriately regulate all UAS, as well as to address concerns expressed by the national security and law enforcement communities.
- Recognizes the need to expedite development and implementation of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system.
- Acknowledges the need to further study the roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments when it comes to UAS regulations, particularly as the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP), which the Coalition strongly supports, gets underway.
- Establishes a micro UAS classification to expedite the commercial benefits of small UAS weighing 4.4 pounds and under.
As the Senate prepares to consider its own FAA reauthorization legislation, the Coalition looks forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the bill that reaches the President’s desk supports industry-driven UTM development and implementation and does not spur unnecessary or unintentional regulatory action related to spectrum.
The Coalition will also continue to support the longstanding precedent of federal regulatory authority over aviation operations engaging in interstate commerce to ensure that operators are subject to uniform economic and safety regulations that make the United States airspace the safest in the world.