ALPA President, Captain Lee Moak testified today before the U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) safe integration into the National Airspace System (NAS). With a number of recent news reports highlighting “near miss” incidents between airliners and UAS’s, public attention is rightly on the safety of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and how to safely integrate them into the NAS. Today Congress reviewed the integration, oversight and competitiveness issues related to UAS in advance of the September 2015 deadline for the FAA’s plan for UAS integration. Watch the webcast here.
Captain Moak stated during his testimony that ALPA does not oppose the safe integration of UAS into shared airspace. We recognize the economic value and innovation presented by UAS. However, it must be reiterated that UAS are aircraft. When and if they fly in the national airspace, they must be subject to the same rules and regulations as other airspace users. Finally, the FAA needs a solid funding stream to continue to produce the regulations that will guide integration of UAS into the NAS. These points were well received by the Members of Congress in attendance who heard from Captain Moak about what actually happens while operating in the NAS. ALPA will continue to serve as a resource for policy makers in the coming years as rules and regulations are developed to keep the skies safe while allowing the UAS industry to grow.
For additional reading on ALPA’s position on UAS’s, please read our white paper by clicking here.