The Consumer Technology Association is bullish on the FAA’s recent announcement concerning the UAS Integration Pilot Program partnerships.
According to the FAA: “The results from the Program will help to inform the development of future enabling regulations that will expand safe UAS operations and help to transition many of the new and novel operational concepts that we manage today by exception into routine, commonplace aspects of our everyday lives.”
The final 10 awardees will evaluate a host of operational concepts, including night operations, flights over people and beyond the pilot’s line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies and the reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft.
The CTA, a trade association representing the $351 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, came out in favor of the FAA announcement this past week.
CTA vice president of technology policy Douglas Johnson — currently a member of the U.S. FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee Subcommittee and former UAS Registration Task Force, Micro UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee and UAS Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee – had this to say:
“We know drones can provide a safer, more efficient and environmentally-sustainable way of conducting a wide range of tasks and are often a very local technology in their application. The IPP is a laudable, technology-forward initiative that will strengthen our understanding of the practical and policy issues related to drones and their many beneficial use cases. The program also will enable more Americans to see this amazing technology in action and, at the same time, help craft appropriate, innovation-friendly and forward-looking public policy. We are excited about the IPP and congratulate our member companies who are partners in the program, as well as those involved in the earlier application process.”
CTA expects total drone sales in the U.S. to reach record highs of 3.7 million units in 2018 (a 20 percent increase) and $1.2 billion in revenue (a 17 percent increase). Drones below 250 grams are expected to reach just over 2.2 million units this year, while drones above 250 grams will reach 1.5 million units shipped.