The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure heard testimony from U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg this week on the Biden Administration’s priorities and plans for national transportation infrastructure.

Although Secretary Buttigieg’s testimony did not provide details specifically about unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones), Secretary Buttigieg comes to the DOT with a history of success in promoting autonomous systems, which will hopefully help lead the way for the industry on a federal level.

A highlight for the UAS industry from the hearing was the Secretary’s support for regulatory updates and UAS technology. Secretary Buttigieg stated that “[t]he biggest thing that we need to do is establish safety and establish certainty for industry.” To support innovation in this space, Congress needs to keep up with the evolving technology. Collaboration between the DOT and the industry will allow federal policy to support safe deployment and integration.

We will continue to monitor progress toward federal regulation for safety, standards and privacy protections.