Small Business Aviation Safety Roundtable on FAA’s Proposed Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rule

Small Business Aviation Safety Roundtable on

FAA’s Proposed Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rule

 

Thursday, April 9, 2015, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Dear Small Business Representatives:

 

As you may know, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published its proposed Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) (“Small Drones”) rule in the Federal Register on February 23, 2015.  Here is a link to the proposed rule (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-02-23/pdf/2015-03544.pdf) and to FAA’s Small UAS website (https://www.faa.gov/uas/).  The proposed rule would allow small UAS to operate in the National Airspace (NAS) under certain controlled conditions.  A small UAS is a small unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds along with its control equipment.  In the past, FAA has authorized non-recreational small UAS use through various mechanisms, such as special airworthiness certificates, exemptions, and certificates of waiver or authorization (COA).  FAA’s proposed rule would be the next step of integrating small UAS into commercial use, and numerous small businesses seek to use these “small drones” in applications such as crop monitoring/inspection, research and development, educational/academic uses, power-line/pipeline inspection, construction, antenna inspections, rescue operations, bridge inspections, aerial photography, wildlife nesting area evaluations, etc.

 

FAA’s proposed rule is considered an initial step in integrating small UAS into broader use and FAA makes clear that it seeks to extend its rules as new technology can ensure the safe operation of UAS, especially with respect to striking other aircraft, maintaining control during flight, and national security concerns.  As such, the proposed rule would, among other things, provide for operator testing and certification, limit UAS to 55 lbs., only allow daytime and “line of sight” operation, limit speeds to 100 mph, and limit flight elevation to 500 feet.  The rule also has special provisions regarding model aircraft. 

 

FAA seeks comments on a number of issues, including issues related to operation, safety, technology, and other issues.  Therefore, because of significant small business interest in this issue, the SBA Office of Advocacy will host a Small Business Aviation Safety Roundtable on FAA’s Proposed UAS rule on Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. to discuss this proposed rule.  Representatives from FAA and the Department of Transportation will be on hand to discuss the proposed rule and answer questions about this issue.  A final agenda will be circulated prior to the meeting.  Comments on FAA’s proposed rule are due to FAA by Friday, April 24, 2008, and can be submitted electronically through www.regulations.gov, the federal rulemaking portal.

 

If you would like to attend the UAS roundtable, please RSVP to Bruce Lundegren.  A call in option will also be available upon request to me.

 

We hope to see you on April 9th.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or require additional information.

 

Bruce

 

Roundtable meetings are open to all interested persons, with the exception of the press, in order to facilitate an open and frank discussion about small business-related issues.   Agendas and presentations are available to all, including the press.  Anyone who would like to receive roundtable agendas or presentations, or be included in the regular distribution, should forward such requests to bruce.lundegren@sba.gov.  The purpose of these roundtable meetings is to exchange opinions, facts, and information and to obtain the attendees’ individual views and opinions regarding small business concerns.  The meetings are not intended to communicate or achieve any consensus positions of the attendees.

 

Agenda

 

  1. Welcome and Introduction of Small Business Representatives (2:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.)

Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel, SBA Office of Advocacy

 

  1. An Overview of FAA’s Proposed Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rule – Implications for Small Business (2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Mark Bury, Assistant Chief Counsel, Regulations Division of the Office of Chief Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation

 

  1. Small Business Perspective on FAA’s Proposed Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rule – Some Thoughts on Innovation and Technology (3:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.)

John M. Palatiello, Executive Director, Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS)

 

  1. Open Discussion of Small Business Issues/Concerns (3:20 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

 

  1. Adjourn (4:00 p.m.)