As the founder of MLWAir (The Only All First-Class Boeing 767) and DroneData® and like most ticketed flyers today, I am concerned how drones will impact air safety. Coupled with all the concerns about air safety, it appears that the FAA UAS Registration Task Force has a serious gap in its representation. With multiple retailers, drone manufacturers, and aviation advocacy groups the deck appears to be stacked in favor of corporate revenues, not public safety. Why did the FAA Task Force omit commercial airline representation?
Of the twenty-five member task force, 60% are advocates of consumer and commercial drone proliferation. The remaining board members represent general aviation advocacy groups. There is no representation by ticketed or charter airlines which are affected most by the lack of drone regulation. With analysts predicting that up to 1 million drones may be sold during the holiday and peak airline travel season, how will the FAA Task Force address the safety of our public airspace in one month’s time?
As owner of a commercial airliner, an additional concern of mine is the recent investor flurry in startup drone companies touting cruise speeds in excess of 60 mph and operating ceilings of 10,000 feet. Several newly developed drones currently have no apparent commercial use and pose a serious threat to the NAS (National Airspace System) especially when in the hands of consumers.
In order to expedite the implementation of a national drone registration system in short order, DroneData is offering to provide the necessary data center infrastructure at no charge to the FAA UAS Registration system’s prime vendor. I also suggest the FAA should evaluate applications that are already operational like UAS Assure from Transport Risk Management.