Consistent monitoring of stakeholder input is essential to the formation of any regulatory environment and to anticipating market demands. Nowhere is this more true than in the fluid and ever-changing regulatory environment governing the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – more commonly known as drones.

This month, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) released a summary of one of the UAS industry’s most comprehensive public and private stakeholder meetings to date. The August 2, 2016 Workshop on Drones and Aviation, held by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), brought together luminaries from the UAS industry, government and academia to address the most pressing issues regarding the UAS integration challenge.

Among these issues, the participants at the workshop addressed the following:

  • progress regarding the development of a Low-Altitude Airspace Management/UAS Traffic Management system
  • expanded operations for small UAS and additional rule-making initiatives beyond Part 107
  • implementation of comprehensive UAS integration through a smarter national airspace system
  • privacy issues, among them notice of UAS flights and UAS identification
  • spectrum issues including spectrum capacity and sharing of UAS communications and
  • security issues and the development of counter-UAS security measures.

In addition to the issues addressed and resolutions reached, the OSTP workshop was also accompanied by a number of notable announcements and developments in the UAS industry. Among them:

  • $35 million in UAS research funding by the National Science Foundation
  • $5 million pledged to support UAS research and development in the State of New York
  • a commitment by the Department of Interior to expand UAS use for search-and-rescue and
  • charter of a UAS Safety Team by the FAA.

A copy of AUVSI’s summary is available here.