Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administrator, Dan Elwell, said last week, “Drones are going to do for aviation what the internet did for information,” and called on the industry to work with the FAA to fully integrate drones into the National Airspace System. Elwell made this statement at the InterDrone conference held last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Elwell said that, while the FAA wants the technology to take off (literally and figuratively), there are a lot of questions and concerns that need to be addressed first. While people want drone operations over people and at night, Elwell cautioned that the industry first needs to address national security concerns. Specifically, Elwell said that until the FAA sets remote ID requirements that will be universally applied to every drone, full integration is not possible. Elwell said, “The fact is that a lot of safety problems require technological solutions. And that means we need buy-in from all of you. The innovators. The inventors. The out-of-the-box thinkers.”

Elwell concluded by saying the FAA is ready to move now and quickly to enable the drone industry to grow; “[w]e’re building flexible, responsive regulatory processes that can keep up with all your creativity while ensuring safety isn’t compromised.”