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Jan
25
2024

AUVSI Industry Insights and Updates

Posted 30 days ago ago by Admin

Partnership for Drone Competitiveness Launched 

AUVSI Advocacy announced the launch of the Partnership for Drone Competitiveness – a coalition built to support a stronger U.S. drone industry, enable greater security for customers and end users, forge American leadership in advanced aviation, and effectively level the playing field for domestic and allied drone manufacturers against foreign subsidized competition. 

Why it matters: Incentivizing U.S. leadership in the drone industry represents a strategic imperative in a market long characterized by state-subsidized companies based in China. AUVSI believes it is essential to advance security and competitiveness in a thoughtful way that respects existing investments while building toward a more secure, sustainable future that puts U.S. interests first.  

What’s next: The coalition will advocate for targeted investments and common-sense policies that level the playing field against state-subsidized competitors and reduce dependence on foreign supply chains for components and rare-earth materials. Download our whitepaper detailing challenges facing the drone industry, learn more about policy recommendations for U.S. lawmakers and regulators, and see AUVSI members supporting the Partnership.

BVLOS Exemptions Granted

The Federal Aviation Administration granted exemptions to four organizations to conduct commercial drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS): Phoenix Air Unmanned, uAvionix, UPS Flight Forward, and Zipline. All four are AUVSI member organizations, and we previously submitted comments to the FAA encouraging the Agency to approve their requests. 

Why it matters: To fully realize normalized BVLOS operations, a solution must consider both the safety benefits of these operations and the full spectrum of risk mitigations available. This is essential to realize the societal potential of drones and for Americans to benefit from drones’ expanded use. The more operations are enabled, the clearer the safety picture is. 

The Big Picture: These approvals demonstrate the significant progress the drone industry is making toward scalable commercial drone operations beyond visual line of sight in data and inspection services. Successfully enabling BVLOS operations at scale throughout the NAS and across the spectrum of uncrewed aircraft is essential for the United States to retain a global leadership role in aviation.

2023 FAA Reauthorization

For the first time in five years, Congress must reauthorize key authorities and funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The 2018 FAA Reauthorization was a five-year bill and first multi-year FAA Reauthorization bill in quite some time. The expiration date of that bill was 30 September 2023. Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the FAA reauthorization bill – H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act. However, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has not held a hearing on their version of the bill. Ultimately, the two chambers must resolve the vast differences between the two versions and produce one comprehensive bill for the President to sign into law. With the legislative process on FAA Reauthorization having stalled in Congress ahead of the September deadline, Congress passed legislation to temporarily extend the FAA’s authorities until 31 December 2023 and provide more time to work through points of disagreement. The full FAA Reauthorization bill is still pending before Congress and work continues to move it forward in the Senate. 

Why it matters: The bill provides direction from Congress to the FAA on issues relating to the safety of the national airspace system, including the integration of uncrewed systems and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft. AUVSI secured several priorities in both the House and Senate versions of the legislation that would help our members in a myriad of ways. 

What’s next: AUVSI will continue to closely monitor the status of the FAA Reauthorization bills and provide regular updates to members of our Air Advocacy Committee. 

 Stay up-to-date with AUVSI’s quarterly research publication, where you can find the latest trends in un-crewed economics, systems, engineering, and finance, as well as updates on AUVSI events, programs, and advocacy - https://www.auvsi.org/quarterly-insight 

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