Comments to the FAA on Rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

April 20, 2015

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation submitted its comments in response to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) request for public comment concerning the integration of small, commercial, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, into the national airspace. While ITIF applauds the FAA for moving forward on its plan allow for wide-spread use of commercial drones, the FAA should change its proposed rules to provide the flexibility needed to promote innovation in UAS while protecting public safety.

To that end, ITIF proposes a number of key principles to guide the FAA’s rule-making process:

  • The FAA should adopt a regulatory framework that bolsters U.S. competitiveness in UAS.
  • The FAA should create rules that encourage commercial applications of UAS.
  • The FAA should adopt technology-neutral rules for UAS.
  • The FAA should adopt a flexible, risk-based approach to addressing UAS safety concerns.

Market analysts estimate that commercial UAS will create $13.6 billion in economic value and 70,000 new jobs within the first three years after the FAA’s plan comes to fruition. Therefore, it is important that this plan spur rather than thwart technological innovation. The FAA should be firmly committed to bolstering U.S. competitiveness in UAS and to promoting commercial UAS activity. To achieve this, it should commit to embracing technology neutrality and integrating a flexible, risk-based approach to safety concerns.