Trump Signs Memo on Expansion of Drone Use
U.S. President Donald Trump is launching a plan to expand the testing of drones to include night-time flight operations, flights over people and flights out of sight of the operator, the White House said on Wednesday.
The pilot program aims to speed up the integration of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and test monitoring and drone detection when waiving some limits.
The White House on Wednesday said it will make it possible for a speedy and dramatic growth of the way drones are utilized across the U.S., saying President Trump was following through on his promise to the business to slash regulatory barriers which are sending companies to test the technology abroad.
Trump was set to sign a memorandum directing Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to make a pilot program allowing local, tribal and state authorities to employ to set “creation zones” where far-reaching drone operations would be permitted.
That would allow businesses or authorities to run drones in a way which are limited by the Federal Aviation Administration under present rules. Jurisdictions may, for example, be in a position to send packages overnight something which would not be done under the restrictions of today, throughout an whole community.
The proposal provides a path for authorities that are enthused about drones to push. It doesn’t, however, answer growing questions about communities that are looking to curtail utilization might proceed.
States and local governments would have the ability to seek Federal Aviation Administration approval for testing and expanded use, but the White House stopped short of suggesting regulations that would allow wider domestic usage of drones or any timetable for jurisdiction.
White House adviser Michael Kratsios told reporters Wednesday the “program will start the skies for delivery of life-saving medicines and industrial bundles, inspections of critical infrastructure, support for emergency management operations.”
The pilot program consists of three components, Kratsios clarified. State, local, and tribal authorities evaluate and will suggest new models for integrating commercial drones into their communities. Those proposals could comprise drones that are working in ways restricted by present regulations, such as flying beyond line of night flight, sight flights and flights over people.
The FAA estimates by 2021 business drones will increase to about 442,000 and hobbyist drones’ fleet will triple.
In June, Trump told drone executives that the administration wants “to make new businesses and lots of jobs… We are going to offer you the competitive advantage which you want.”
In attendance were chief executives of drone firms such as Kespry Inc, AirMap, Airspace Inc, Measure UAS Inc, Trumbull Unmanned, and Precision Hawk Inc..
Manufacturers have argued that the government should move faster to approve broader commercial use of drones and noted that the Transportation Department does pre-approve self-driving vehicle technologies.
“America’s skies are changing — UAS now outnumber manned aircraft, which had dominated our airspace since World War II,” said Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “Our regulatory framework has not kept pace with this change,” he added.