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Moving Policy Boundaries Forward: Commercial Drone Alliance Participates in First-Ever FAA-Convened Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team Meeting

Industry Leaders Meet to Review Data, Boost UAS Safety Performance in the National Airspace 

Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley, October 24, 2016 – By the FAA’s own numbers, the UAS industry is growing exponentially. The Agency has predicted that 11 million commercial drones will have been sold in the United States by 2020. New platform adoption at this pace is unprecedented among most industries, even technology. To continue forward in this exciting new space while also securing the public’s trust, the commercial drone industry is strongly committed to the responsible and safe use of drones in the National Airspace.

Last week, the FAA convened the first-ever UAS Safety Team (UAST) to gather and analyze data that will enhance the operational safety of drones. The Commercial Drone Alliance participated in the meeting representing commercial drone companies in the hardware, software, newsgathering, service provider, safety technology sectors.

The formation of the UAST is an important step toward broadening drone integration beyond the Part 107 rules already in effect. As the drone industry is new, policymakers have lacked sufficient data to draft and implement timely regulations. These UAST meetings will inform policymakers as they work toward broad drone integration.

The Alliance is pleased to see this effort move forward and looks forward to working productively with government representatives and other industry stakeholders on the UAST.

“At Measure, and as a Board member of the Commercial Drone Alliance, we are very excited to be a part of the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team,” said Christopher Courtney, Chief Pilot and Vice President of Flight Operations. “This is an opportunity to work with industry and the FAA to set a thought-out safety culture in this new commercial drone space."

“With the recent release of the FAA’s new rule broadly authorizing commercial drone operations, the demand for commercial drones is skyrocketing. Industry wants to operate in a safe and responsible way,” said Lisa Ellman, co-executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance. “We praise the FAA for bringing together interested stakeholders to enhance safety around drone flight, and we look forward to actively participating as part of the UAS Safety Team.”

The Commercial Drone Alliance was formed in May 2016 to support enterprise end-users adopting drone technology and to enable commercial market growth. The group focuses on a mix of public and policymaker education; connecting policymakers and innovators to accelerate the realization of drone benefits to industry; and promoting best practices for drone operations that ensure the privacy, security and safety of the public.

The Commercial Drone Alliance is co-led by industry veterans, Gretchen West and Lisa Ellman, both of Hogan Lovells LLP, a global law firm. Both Gretchen and Lisa are also co-founders of the Women of Commercial Drones organization, a nationwide effort to encourage women to become involved in this market and to mentor women to become leaders in technology.

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About the Commercial Drone Alliance

Founded in 2016, the Commercial Drone Alliance is an independent 501c6 non-profit led by the commercial drone industry co-located in Silicon Valley, CA and Washington, DC. The overarching vision of the Alliance is to support commercial enterprise end users and assist them with adopting drone technology into their businesses, reducing barriers to entry, addressing public perception issues, and merging policy with innovation to create relevant rules for operation.  www.commercialdronealliance.org

Topics: In the News, Press Releases