In Washington, D.C. last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Unmanned Systems Caucus and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) held a briefing for congressional staff on technologies that enable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate longer distances and at higher altitudes in the U.S. national airspace.
The briefing included two panels of experts from AUVSI member companies. The panels were comprised of representatives from Amazon Prime Air, AT&T, Facebook, FedEx, General Atomics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Qualcomm and Skyward. The panels discussed the integration of UAS beyond the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 rule for small UAS, reviewed the importance of establishing a UAS Traffic Management System, and provided an update on the latest developments in large UAS (i.e. over 55 pounds), including High-Altitude Long Endurance UAS. This briefing sought to start building up the discussion around UAS policy and legislative discussions, while also exemplifying the immense industry and government collaboration that is needed to move commercial UAS operations forward.