WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation met this week to hear testimony from unmanned aircraft systems experts, officials and interested parties.
To explain the work the FAA has completed, started or continues with, Earl Lawrence, director of the office of unmanned aircraft systems for the Federal Aviation Administration, offered this list that included initiating a small UAS rule, getting more than 750,000 UAVs and more than 25,000 pilots registered, getting all FAA-selected UAS test sites engaged in active testing procedures, working with NASA to develop a system for UAS integration into the NAS, nearing completion on a pathfinder program to determine how to make beyond-visual-line-of-sight a reality, testing anti-drone technology across the nation at major airports and recently, to move past the FAA-created Part 107 regulations.
“As all of you know this exciting technology has the capability to change—and in some cases has already—the way companies do business,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
Lawrence, who was asked the most questions during the hearing, told the committee that the FAA has made great strides in its massive efforts to integrate UAS into the airspace. “Since the FAA last testified to this committee, the U.S. has solidified its place as the global leader for UAS integration,” he said, “demonstrating the FAA’s prioritization of UAS.”
“We are doing our best to achieve the right balance between increased operations and safety,” he said.