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EAA Responds to Latest Push for Autonomous Drone Use
August 6, 2015 - The proliferation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems or “drones” has drawn interest from small, independent business owners as well as large corporations for their potential commercial uses. It has also drawn concern from the general aviation community as a potential safety risk for the National Airspace System (NAS).
After the FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on commercial use of drones in February, EAA commented and expressed the concern of our members over this rapidly emerging technology. As the FAA sorts through the comments and finalizes the rulemaking package, some companies continue to push for near-unfettered access to certain parts of the NAS for autonomous drone operations.
The Washington Post reported in late July on Amazon’s latest plan to carve out airspace below 400 feet AGL for drone use. Though the plan appears to conscientiously divide airspace to allow for safe drone operations, it demonstrates a stunning disregard for grassroots manned aviation upon closer review.
EAA continues to argue that manned aircraft should always have priority over drones in the NAS and the integration of drones should not expand costly equipment mandates for grassroots aircraft owners. EAA will continue to monitor this issue and advocate for a safe and sensible outcome for the general aviation community.