Leading the Charge: Pursuing Regulatory Advancement in the Drone Industry

Apr 4, 2019 9:49:54 AM  |  0 Comments

As one of the first national drone services providers in the U.S., the development of the sUAS industry and regulatory advancements is extremely important to us. Since 2014, Measure’s leadership has maintained a presence in the FAA, Congress, and even the White House.

Whether it's through our circles of influence, obtainment of exemptions and waivers, or research and development, Measure has a robust history of advancing the regulatory environment for drones.

Here's a list of some of our more notable experiences.

Circles of Influence

American Leadership in Emerging Technology: Measure CEO Brandon Torres Declet was one of a handful of drone CEOs who participated in a summit hosted by President Trump and the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy in June 2017.

Chamber Technology Engagement Center: VP of Product Strategy Dave Bowen served as co-chair of the UAS Working Group from June 2017- June 2018, representing Measure as the only drone services provider member of the Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_Tec), the tech arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST): Measure’s Senior Director of Aviation Standards and Policy, Ronney Miller, sits on the UAST, an industry-government partnership committed to ensuring the safe operations of UAS with data-driven safety enhancements.

Drone Registration Task Force: CEO Brandon Torres Declet represented Measure on the highly successful task force run between October and November 2015, which recommended the creation of a registration system for UAS run by the FAA. In January 2018, the number of aircraft in the United States registered in this system surpassed 1 million.

Oxford University Centre for Technology and Global Affairs: The Oxford University Centre for Technology and Global Affairs partnered up with Measure to explore potential governance models for how civil airspace could be best regulated moving forward. The Centre held its first "Robotics Skies Workshop: The Role of Private Industry and Public Policy in Shaping the Drones Industry" in June of 2017 with CEO Brandon Torres Declet as a key contributor and advisor to the Centre. Read more about this project.

Exemptions and Waivers

Section 333: Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 allows the Secretary of Transportation to determine which types of unmanned aircraft do not pose a hazard to National Airspace System users or to national security. Measure's Section 333 exemption, awarded in October 2015, was the broadest exemption issued by the FAA at that point in terms of number of aircraft models exempted. The Section 333 exemption process was repealed in 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, having been replaced by the Special Authority for Certain Unmanned Systems (49 U.S.C. §44807).

Washington D.C. Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ): The area in and around Washington D.C. is one of the most restricted air spaces in the world. When a local hospital wanted to take time-lapse footage of a new project, they had a difficult time finding a drone company who could obtain the proper documentation to do the job. Measure stepped in and obtained one of only a few waivers ever granted to fly within the FRZ. Read more about how we did it

Super Bowl LIII: For the first time in history, the FAA authorized unmanned aircraft systems to fly in the restricted airspace surrounding Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. There were six waivers awarded, three for law enforcement and three for media coverage. Measure was one of the three approved for media coverage via drone. Measure also helped the FAA to develop the approval process for major events - a process similar to the one used after hurricanes and wildfires. Read more about the media coverage in this article.

Wildfire ECOA: During the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, wildfires in late 2016, Measure deployed with ABC and FOX to cover the crisis. The area was under a temporary flight restriction (TFR), banning all non-emergency aircraft from the airspace. Measure's flight operations department was able to leverage its regulatory expertise to apply for and receive the first emergency Certificate of Authorization (COA) granting permission to fly in the town. To date, it remains one of only a few emergency COAs ever granted to civilian drone operators.

Night Operations Waiver: Measure was one of the first operators to receive a waiver from Part 107 regulations allowing for UAS operations during night time. Our waiver allows us to fly for any purpose across the US, provided we abide by the covenants proposed in our application.

Research and Development

Northeast UAS Airspace Research Alliance (NUAIR): NUAIR is a coalition of aerospace organizations and academic institutions, running a federal UAS test site in Rome, New York. Measure joined forces with them in the first quarter of 2019 to enhance the test site's research and development initiatives, specifically related to building out unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems. Read more about this partnership.

LS Technologies/UTM Consulting: Measure is providing its expertise as one of the foremost drone service providers in the US as a subcontractor to LS Technologies for the FAA’s SE2025 Systems Engineering program. Already Measure has provided valuable guidance to the FAA on how to optimize the design and testing of a robust UAS traffic management system, or UTM. We look forward to continue offering our insights over the duration of the 4-year contract.

 

Part of our mission as a company is to help create safe and secure skies for the effective use of drones in commercial services. If you have a project upcoming that will require special permissions, please consult with us as soon as possible. Start by filling out the form here.

 

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