2016 Press Releases

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Aviation Groups' Letter Supports Federal Approach to UAS Regulation

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, April 13, 2016 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined with several aviation groups in signing a letter opposing two proposals that would eliminate federal oversight for the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and their integration into the National Airspace System.

The proposals were offered as amendments (#3558 and #3650) to H.R.636, a Senate bill under consideration for reauthorizing programs and funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“It has long been established that the federal government, through the FAA, has sole authority to implement and enforce regulations for all navigable airspace, including regulations for UAS, and the Senate’s FAA bill reiterates this position,” said NBAA COO Steve Brown. “The intent of this pre-emption is to avoid the creation of a patchwork quilt of local airspace policies, which could impact the mobility, flexibility and safety of airspace navigation. The amendments offered to the Senate FAA bill would undercut the FAA’s ability to govern airspace with a single, federal set of standards.”

Brown added that the proposed amendments also overlook the fact that local authorities are able to implement requirements pertaining to takeoff and landing locations for UAS, given that land-use policies are local in nature.

The groups’ April 12 letter opposing the amendments was signed by NBAA, along with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Aerospace Industries Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Cherokee Nation Technologies, the Consumer Technology Association, DJI, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Small UAV Coalition. Read the aviation groups’ letter in its entirety.

NBAA has long maintained that it is imperative that any introduction plan for UAS be focused on safety. This means UAS should not share the same airspace with manned aircraft until they have equivalent certification and airworthiness standards as manned aircraft, including the ability to take timely directions from air traffic control, and to sense and avoid manned aircraft and other UAS.

NBAA personnel have participated in UAS working groups for nearly 10 years, and the association has published expansive online resources covering developments in the UAS industry of importance to the business aviation community.

In December 2015, NBAA welcomed a document from the FAA, reasserting that the agency has sole authority to implement and enforce regulations for all navigable airspace, including for UAS. Read NBAA’s statement regarding the FAA’s December 2015 position paper on UAS regulation its entirety

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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