DMA Statement on Senate Passage of FAARA Bill

The following statement is attributed to Kara Calvert, Director of the Drone Manufacturers Alliance:

The Drone Manufacturers Alliance appreciates the Senate’s efforts to pass the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act (FAARA) of 2016, and applauds language included in the bill related to “micro” UAS and federal preemption. However, we believe the bill – in its current form – will create a significant barrier to innovation for unmanned aircraft systems and ultimately slow advancements in aviation safety.

Section 2124 of the Senate-passed bill, if enacted into law, would reverse the Federal Aviation Administration’s risk-based approach by requiring every make and model of every UAS in America to be approved by the FAA. As drafted, the section would create a bottleneck for innovating and releasing new technology without increasing aviation safety. UAS, like most technology, has a short and constantly evolving development cycle. Forcing manufacturers to lock in specific standards before going to market and then restricting the ability to update those products over time will limit innovation in aviation safety rather than improve it.

As manufacturers of cutting edge unmanned aircraft systems, we oppose section 2124 and urge Congress to fix it before legislation goes to the President’s desk.