AUVSI urges Congress to include UAS mitigation powers for DHS, DOJ in FAA bill

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is urging US lawmakers working on a reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration to include stricter enforcement laws for drone

It wants new legislation to give the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice authority to mitigate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that are used for nefarious purposes, while maintaining the FAA’s exclusive sovereignty over the airspace.

“Advancements in UAS are developing at a rapid pace, and the positive impact of this innovation on our economy, lifestyle and society is tremendous,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “To tap into the full benefits of UAS, however, we must ensure that our skies remain safe and secure. By granting authority to government agencies to mitigate threats, they can quickly act to stop them. Stricter enforcement against careless, reckless and other potentially malicious behaviour will not only punish operators who misuse UAS technology but deter others from doing so.”

AUVSI also emphasised the importance of establishing remote identification standards for all UAS operators, which will enable law enforcement officials to identify, track and apprehend unlawful operators, in real-time. By doing so, AUVSI said remote ID could help alleviate security concerns raised by expanded UAS operations, such as flights over people or nighttime operations. It noted that a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for flights over people was scheduled to be issued more than a year ago, but this next regulatory step to advance the UAS industry has been indefinitely delayed due to security concerns.

“Until we address policy for counter-UAS and move forward with rulemaking for remote identification, expanded operations and further integration of UAS into the airspace will remain stalled.”

The letter to the committees in the U.S. House of Representatives can be found here and the letter to the committees in the U.S. Senate can be found here.