Industry group AUVSI is calling on members to attend their annual “Hill Day” to voice their support for unmanned systems.
This year’s event will be held on September 12, and will offer opportunities for meetings with Congressional members and their staff, as well as a lunchtime panel featuring the FAA’s Senior Advisor on UAS Integration, “Hoot” Gibson, and Mark Bathrick of the Department of the Interior.
This year’s Hill Day may be especially important for the industry. “Public policy that’s being written now will affect unmanned systems for years to come,” says AUVSI’s President and CEO, Brian Wynne. “So we need your voice to spread the good news about the benefits of the industry and its importance to the nation’s future.”
September will see the expiration of the current extension of the FAA Reauthorization package. While discussion is mainly focused on privatization of the ATC (part of the House proposal but not of the Senate package) previous proposals have shown that drone laws are frequently added as amendments to the legislation. These have previously included proposals for a micro drone classification for regulatory purposes, timelines for drone integration, or privacy related rules.
This year saw introduction of the Drone Federalism Act by Senator Feinstein of CA, which would allow states to regulate drones and deny the FAA preemption, and the alternative but also restrictive Drone Innovation Act, focused on privacy issues. Both were widely criticized by the drone industry for placing unreasonable restraints on the industry.
On the same date, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus and AUVSI will host the 2017 Science and Tech Fair to showcase innovative new technologies for lawmakers.
AUVSI is emphasizing collaboration and positive messaging for the day. “It’s an opportunity… to describe how the industry is creating jobs nad contributing to the growth of our economy,” says Wynne.