The Federal Aviation Administration
Anyone in the drone community knows, and likely has some strong feelings about, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA is the regulatory heavyweight for all things drone. Most recently, it helped open up the commercial drone industry through the release of Part 107
Joan Lowy reports for PBS that President-elect Trump is partial to the idea of privatizing airspace control
. While this idea isn’t new, it is highly controversial. This year’s FAA reauthorization process
included the proposed AIRR Act, which aimed to rescind oversight of the air traffic control system from the FAA and privatize it instead. The AIRR Act failed to make it through the House due primarily to the proposed air traffic control reforms.
In its letter to the administration, the DMA emphasized the importance of keeping air traffic control under the authority of the FAA.
“The FAA has sole jurisdiction over the national airspace and aviation safety, and we would urge you to maintain its authority to regulate the national airspace for unmanned aircraft systems,” the letter states.
Air traffic control
, already a hurdle for the integration of commercial drones, will become an increasingly important and contentious issue as exponentially more drones vie for their place in the National Airspace System.
While these selections and potential stances indicate a direction for the future of the commercial drone industry, Trump has made no formal announcements or policies with drones in mind. And there are still many decisions yet to be made.
“Our members and our industry as a whole would be disappointed to see appointees that might stagnate the advancements of drone use and technology, which would likely stagnate the economic growth of the United States overall,” says West.