U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao addressed the audience at the FAA’s UAS Symposium yesterday. In taped remarks, the Chao told attendees that operations over people, night flight, and flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) were on the way. While stakeholders are concerned about safety, Chao said that “this administration is actively working through these issues.”
Chao also said that the FAA’s UAS Pilot Program, which would allow state, local and tribal governments to request waivers for drone programs in their communities and provide the FAA with feedback that may inform regulations, had generated an “extremely gratifying” response from stakeholders. The agency received 149 applications from a diverse group of stakeholders, and was “on track” to announce the first 10 participants in May.
The Secretary finished, however, with a warning. “It’s no secret…that the public has legitimate concerns,” said Chao, asking the drone industry to “step up” in helping to educate the public and address their concerns over safety and privacy.