Much has happened in the fast-moving world of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) since the last roundup I did on May 22. In this edition of the roundup, learn more about some authorizations the FAA granted to the six UAS test sites, a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on drones, a UAV operator using his vehicle twice to save people, drones at the U.S. open, and the latest Section 333 exemptions.
UAS test sites receive blanket authorizations from FAA
The FAA has issued blanket certificates of authorization to fly public aircraft operations in the national airspace to the six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites to conduct research. These authorizations match similar expanded parameters for approved commercial operators that were announced in April, according to the AUVSI. They will allow small UAS operated at the test sites to fly up to 200 ft. during daylight conditions within line of sight. The authorizations enable the test sites to fly multiple drones. Tom Wilcezk, aerospace and defense industry specialist for the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development said the announcement is great news for the future of Nevada’s test site effort.
"Nevada has been working diligently to get companies up and flying UAVs on our test sites and the ability for us to implement public aircraft operations that fly under 200 feet … will significantly speed up the ability to test on our Nevada sites and move this emerging industry into commercial flights."
View the AUVSI post.
Drones: The Next Generation of Commerce?"
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on "Drones: The Next Generation of Commerce?" on June 17," in which Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI, testified. The hearing was held to discuss the challenges and economic impact of regulating UAV technology for personal and commercial use, including the privacy concerns that come along with the increased use of UAVs.
In addition to Wynne, also testifying were Michael Whitaker, the deputy administrator from the Federal Aviation Administration; John Cavolowsky, director of the Airspace Systems Program Office at NASA; Paul E. Misener, Amazon's vice president of public policy; and Harley Geiger, advocacy director and senior counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology.
Watch a UAV help save Texans from a flood
UAV operator Garrett Bryl recently used his DJI Inspire quadcopter UAV to work alongside a local fire department in Texas in order to help people from being swept away in a flood.
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