A look back at the first 200 episodes and a peek into topics that might get our attention in the future, including regulatory actions that result from FAA reauthorization.
To celebrate the 200th episode, David and Max take a step back from the usual format and reminisce about the issues that were important when the podcast started in 2013. The main topic then was whether or not to call them “drones.” We look at how the unmanned aircraft landscape has changed since the first episode, and speculate about the topics we’ll be talking about in the future. One of those is the unmanned aircraft regulations we’ll face, which leads us to our single news story this week:
What’s Proposed for Drones in This Year’s FAA Reauthorization Bills?
The United States Senate and House both introduced bills that reauthorize the FAA and contain provisions for unmanned aircraft.
The Senate “FAA Reauthorization Act of 2017” (S.1405) would:
- Direct the FAA to create rule for micro drones under 4.4 pounds
- Require DOT to establish a “delivery air carrier certificate that would allow package deliveries by drones”
- Authorize the FAA to issue more exemptions for BVLOS
- Require all operators of drones over 0.55 pounds to pass an approved aeronautical safety test
- Address safety and privacy issues
- Criminalize reckless drone behavior around manned airports
- Grant FAA drone registration authority
- Boost enforcement
- Create new opportunities for testing and promoting innovative uses.
The House “21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act” (H.R.2997, PDF summary) would:
- Privatize ATC
- Direct the DOT to assess the registration system and require the FAA to “develop and track metrics to assess compliance with and effectiveness of the system”
- Propose a “streamlined process for the FAA to permit the operation of small UAS for certain uses,” as well as a “risk-based permitting process” for operations
- Establish an air carrier certificate for UAS delivery
- Mandate rulemaking for a UAS traffic management system
- Allow the FAA to grant waivers for low-risk UTM operations
Special thanks to @dronemama for creating the intro for this episode. What an unexpected surprise! Love ya!