DJI, the world leader in drone technology, applauds today’s report by a federal rulemaking committee that recommends common-sense ways to ensure drones used for commercial and organizational purposes can safely fly over people.
“The FAA chartered this committee to enable the tremendous benefits of drone technology while ensuring the safety of the skies and the general public,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI’s Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs. “We are pleased that the committee recommends a progressive approach that successfully balances these interests.”
DJI was one of 27 companies and organizations that participated in the “Micro” UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee convened by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which resulted in a broad consensus about how to encourage drone innovation while protecting public safety.
“We were pleased to engage in weeks of respectful dialogue, genuine compromise and a balancing of interests among the participants,” Schulman said. “Working together, new industry participants and traditional stakeholders can accomplish more and do it more quickly, in order to keep pace with a fast-moving technology that is reshaping the world of aviation. We hope to have the opportunity to work with the FAA and other agencies again soon.”
The committee’s recommendations focus on the potential impact energy from different types of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operating in different types of circumstances, and used risk-based data to determine how to protect the public in each case. The committee recommends allowing drone manufacturers the ability to certify the safety of their own products under this risk-based system, which will permit rapid innovation in uses that will benefit imaging, surveying, mapping, inspections, public safety and other fields.
The committee was chartered to establish standards for operations that are more complex than will be permitted under forthcoming FAA regulations for small UAS. Despite the committee’s name, members were not tasked with establishing a simpler weight-based regulatory framework for lightweight “micro” drones, as has been proposed or established in other jurisdictions.
DJI continues to support Congressional action to enact a new category of “micro UAS” that will prioritize safety while promoting open innovation. DJI strongly believes such a classification should be enacted by statute rather than prescribed by regulation, in order not to stifle innovation during a regulatory proceeding that could take years.
DJI also agrees with the committee’s recommendation against stringent licensing requirements for pilots who operate lightweight commercial drones, which says, “rather than enhancing safety, the requirements would be an impediment to safety.”