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Hanga Talk AUVSI Launches Remote Pilots Council


The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) recently announced the launch of a new initiative, the


Remote Pilots Council (RPC),


which kicked off with a national tour to promote education and dialogue between commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators, industry leaders, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Through a combination of in-person meetings, webinars, and surveys, this council of AUVSI members will discuss opportunities and challenges to ensure safe and responsible use of the National Airspace System (NAS).


“Now that we have rules governing the civil and commercial operations of UAS, more


businesses and innovators are


flying and unlocking the tremendous economic benefits of the technology,” said Brian Wynne, AUVSI president and CEO. “AUVSI members, particularly those that are Part 107 remote pilots, are driving the value of this technology. The RPC will further enable AUVSI’s collaboration with the government to advance UAS in a safe and responsible manner.”


The Small UAS Rule, also known as Part 107, went into effect on Aug. 29, 2016. It allows anyone who follows the rules to fly. Among the regulatory requirements, commercial UAS operators must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate by passing an aeronautical knowledge test. The certificate must be renewed every two years.


“The RPC’s immediate goals are to bring AUVSI


members together to provide


feedback on real-world UAS operations, including clarifying and offering suggestions for greater efficiency in the FAA waiver process,” Wynne said. “Going forward, the RPC will identify and discuss operational challenges and potential solutions in UAS regulation as the FAA moves towards the full integration of UAS into the NAS.” More information about the RPC is posted on AUVSI’s website.


Unmanned Safety Institute Launches SAFEGUARD™ Program for Drone Hobbyists


The Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) recently announced that it has launched the first-ever online training course designed by its team of leading aviation safety experts to teach drone enthusiasts how to fly safely and minimize risk. The course, known as SAFEGUARD™, is a self- paced online course that is approximately an hour in length. It covers essential safety topics, including understanding airspace, identifying and avoiding hazards, weather effects on drones, planning safe flights, current FAA rules and regulations, and much more.


Over the past several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported


a dramatic and alarming increase in drone sightings by aircraft pilots. In 2015, the number of reported drone sightings surged to over 650 from 238 in 2014 – a 173 percent


increase. In December


2015, a drone nearly collided mid-air with a California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter, which was forced to abandon its pursuit of a stolen vehicle due to safety concerns. Also in California in 2015, firefighters battling wildfires were forced to ground aircraft several times for safety reasons after spotting drones nearby. “By the end of 2016, there could be as many as 3 million consumer drones flying in the national airspace, posing a significant challenge and potentially serious risk to other aircraft flying with persons onboard,” remarked Aaron Greenwald, president of the Unmanned Safety Institute.


34


Jan/Feb 2017


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