The FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) met Friday to give members a chance to compile recommendations for incorporating drones into increasingly crowded U.S. airspace, reports DroneLife.com. View the meeting here on YouTube.
DAC’s Task Group 7, led by David Silver, took charge of one of the group’s chief agenda items, unmanned traffic management (UTM). Recommendations received varying degrees of support, but there was a strong backing for a federated UTM system, rather than a single, government provided one. The members also championed Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability guidelines that let drone fliers coordinate with the FAA. Other hot topics included developing rules and standards for service suppliers, and defining what constitutes a “government-qualified” service.
Task Group 8, led by Captain Joe DePete, gave members an opportunity to address drone safety issues. While the project is still in early stages, the DAC aims to develop a safety culture in the drone flyer community. They hope to establish good relationships between regulators and pilots at all levels while the drone industry is still young. Many other issues, like concerns about a centrally held information system (the Flight Information Management System, or FIMS), will be discussed at a future gathering.
Elaine Chao, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation said there was a need for a “safety first” culture, and the FAA’s data driven and performance based approach “strengthens safety and allows the department to be tech neutral.”