Organizations representing the interests of drone manufacturers and users, and other aviation stakeholders are arguing against legislation introduced into the U.S. Senate that proposes to allow state and local governments to regulate drone use, warning that the measure could have “dramatic unintended consequences” that could compromise safety.
A June 15 letter to members of Congress, signed by leaders of 14 organizations, acknowledged “unique and complex issues drones raise related to federal, state and local roles and responsibilities” but said the legislation is “premature.”
The legislation should be considered only after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Drone Advisory Committee develops consensus recommendations on the shared use of the National Airspace System, the organizations said.
“Legislating changes before consensus is reached may have dramatic unintended consequences that could stifle innovation, restrict economic growth and interstate commerce, and potentially compromise safety,” the letter said.
The advisory committee is expected to issue a report on its findings later this year.
“A consistent framework, agreed upon by all parties involved, is essential for the future regulatory system governing one of the fastest-growing areas in the aerospace and technology sectors,” the letter said. “We appreciate your willingness to allow a multi-stakeholder process to proceed and not jeopardize ongoing and collaborative efforts.”
Organizations signing the letter include the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Academy of Model Aeronautics, Drone Manufacturers Alliance, Small UAV Coalition and Commercial Drone Alliance.
Others are the Consumer Technology Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Air Traffic Control Association, American Petroleum Institute, National Press Photographers Association, Helicopter Association International, National Business Aviation Association, National Association of Tower Erectors and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.