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Isabella | UAV Coach

FAA Reauthorization Bill to Reach Senate Floor: Possible Impacts and the Future of Drone Regulations

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What exactly is FAA Reauthorization, and what does it mean for the drone industry?

You may have heard the term "FAA Reauthorization" bouncing around in news headlines recently as the U.S. Senate moves toward a vote on the FAA Reauthorization Act.

It's time for drone operators to join the conversation if they want to have a say in this major decision before it's all said and done. We explain what's been going on in the Senate and provide some clarity on reauthorization in our latest blog post: https://uavcoach.com/faa-reauthorization-bill/

We'd like to hear your thoughts on the bill. How do you think the drone industry will benefit or lose out if the bill is passed?

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7 hours ago, Isabella | UAV Coach said:

It's time for drone operators to join the conversation if they want to have a say in this major decision before it's all said and done

Hi Isabella,

Unfortunately, all most drone operators have done so far is talk!  Its to late for them to "join" the conversation.

There's a process that the FAA must go through to create regulations, if drone operators want to have any chance of influencing the decisions that will effect this industry then they need to stand up for their rights by forming an industry trade organization that can lobby for their interest.

Not like The Small UAV Coalition, or the commercial Drone Alliance , ones a bunch of attorneys who are only looking out for the interest of a few large companies and the other a lot of trade show activity.  

SUC(k)

http://www.smalluavcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Industry-Sign-on-Letter-re-Section-336-8.1.18.pdf

CDA

https://www.commercialdronealliance.org/newsarchive/cda-calls-for-congress-to-repeal-section-336-of-the-modernization-reformation-act-of-2012

I'm not an anarchist that's opposed to common sense regulations, but don't think for a minute that these organizations represent the best interests of the commercial drone industry.  They talk a mean game but they say one thing and do another.

We need an organization that is willing to hold elected officials and government agencies accountable, not ones that suck up to them by throwing the hobbyists under the bus to gain favor to get what they want.  Not sure if you saw the hearing in the house regarding this but the representatives from SUC and CDA started a sentence and the FAA finished it.    It was kind of embarrassing. 

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@Av8Chuck - Great feedback. I agree, we have to do more than just talk. A great next step is to join or start an industry trade organization. As the drone industry continues to grow in the commercial sector, I believe more industry trade organizations will be formed. 

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@Isabella | UAV Coach only if the people the trade organization is for make it happen. 

All the organizations vying to be “the” trade organization are either trying to sell something, stop you from doing something or steal something from UAS operators. 

While most of the commercial operators are busy debating why DJI postpone their latest product release.  

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Chad Knapper who started Flite Test and then Rotor Riot is attempting to start such a organization but just for the FPV hobbyists called the FPV Freedom Coalition http://fpvfc.com. He took part in this episode of Drone Stuff this Week.

 

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We need to be careful not to conflate the issues between hobbyists and commercial operators, they are very different.  Having said that there seems to be a tendency for each to throw the other under the bus in this debate.  Although they are different most of the so-called coalitions and the FAA are trying combine the issues into one category.  

As this video points out, the FAA is using false data to consolidate its authority, what UAV operators need to understand about the political process is that it means they don’t actually have the authority and that the purpose of a trade organization is to be a significant part of the process so it can influence all the aspects of UAS commerce, not just the flight regulations.  The FAA is prohibited by law from regulating commerce, so under the “catch all” of safety they try to regulate commerce through flight rules.  This is why they need the statistics and also why they have lost most, if not all the court cases regarding commerial operations prior to rule107.  

Most of the discussions on this forum regarding commercial operators are around missions like real estate, NDVI, cell tower inspections, etc and how can a commercial operator make money when all anyone is willing to pay is $200 for example.  Do we need a trade organization to protect operators that have no hope of being profitable?  Probably not so there’s not much incentive to form one.  However, what if commercial missions paid an order of magnitude higher, say $10,000 to $20,000 per mission? Would more people be interested in it then?  Would they be willing to pay to join?  Would they get involved then? 

A trade organization shouldn’t exist to protect things the way they are, it should be there to protect the opportunity for what it could be for its members.  There’s a growing list of companies who are making that much on every mission.  Not only that but they can’t keep up with demand.  So they’re too busy to take on this battle. 

We’re not entitled to be successful UAV entrepreneurs, we have to earn it.  If the people who are serious about making some aspect of commercial UAV a career I’d recommend figuring out a way of becoming influential in the development of the industry.  That’s not going to happen one $200 roof inspection at a time.  

 

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