HAI President and CEO Matthew S. Zuccaro today called the launch of the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) “a major step forward in bringing together the appropriate stakeholders to assist the Department of Transportation and FAA in developing and implementing this exciting new aviation technology.”
Named as a DAC member in an Aug. 31 announcement, Zuccaro went on to say, “I am honored to have been selected to serve along with the other members of this important committee to reach what I believe is our common goal of the safe, operationally efficient integration of drones into the National Airspace System.”
The newly formed DAC will hold its inaugural meeting Sept. 16 and is expected to meet at least three times a year. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced establishment of the panel in May 2016.
The DAC is an outgrowth of the successful UAS Registration Task Force and the MicroUAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee, two other groups on which HAI represented the interests of the helicopter community. While those panels were created to examine a specific issue, the DAC is intended to be a permanent group, with a mission of helping the FAA to identify and prioritize challenges to integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) into the National Airspace System.
“The integration of UAS will have the most significant impact on the helicopter industry out of any other aviation segment because of our often similar mission profiles of low-altitude, vertical-lift operations,” says Zuccaro. “It is important that the views and concerns of our members and the helicopter industry will be heard.”
Aside from Zuccaro, the advisory committee’s membership is drawn from a broad range of stakeholders interested in UAS issues, including government, industry, and trade groups and associations. It is headed by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and includes such organizations as CNN, the Air Line Pilots Association, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Amazon Prime Air, Garmin International, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
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