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FAA adds citizen drone pilots to Drone Advisory Committee

Finally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) adds actual drone pilots or ‘citizen UAS operators’ to the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). Bravo!

FAA adds citizen drone pilots to Drone Advisory Committee

For the longest time, many people in the drone industry have been saying that the FAA needed to put more actual drone pilots on the Drone Advisory Committee. Folks who represent both recreational, commercial, and FPV drone pilots. Well, it seems that the FAA has finally listened as it released an announcement today that shows that the agency added two ‘citizen UAS operators,’ which is really only a fancy name for actual, real drone pilots, to the committee.

The two new ‘citizen UAS operators’ are:

On social media, Vic said that he was honored to be included and that for the FPV community “we’ll definitely be relying on FPVFC’s input.” The FPVFC is represented by Dave Messina.

Looking at the list, there are a few other noteworthy changes. For instance, Brendan Schulman’s term ended and therefore his name is missing from the list, which is a shame really. Brendan said:

I have been privileged to be one of the longest-serving members of the FAA Drone Advisory Committee since its inception over four years ago. As my term now ends, I am glad to have been not only a representative of the world’s largest drone manufacturer, DJI, but also an advocate for the commercial and recreational drone operators who are the heart of the industry in the United States.

 

Looking back at the years of collaboration, we have made a difference by giving the FAA a perspective on matters of pivotal importance, including safety and security, funding of FAA drone initiatives, roles and responsibilities of federal, state & local government, remote ID, the commercial waiver process, controlled airspace approvals, and promoting a safety culture. The FAA deserves credit for soliciting these opinions from the industry, and for taking them seriously as they plan for the future.

 

I am very pleased to see that the new slate of DAC members – replacing some of us old-timers – includes individual operators and small companies, adding important representation that I have repeatedly advocated for during several DAC meetings. I look forward to continuing to collaborate in various ways with government and industry stakeholders on our common mission of safe growth and innovation.

Other well-known folks that now are absent from the DAC list are Rich Hanson of AMA and Mayor Wade O. Troxell, Ph.D., of the City of Fort Collins, Colorado.

In addition to Vic and Kenji there are a number of other new DAC members:

  • Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation
  • Dr. Paul Hsu, Founder and Chair, HSU Foundation
  • Matt Parker, President, Precision Integrated Programs
  • Molly Wilkinson, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, American Airlines
  • Brad Hayden, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Robotic Skies
  • David Carbon, Vice President and General Manager, Amazon Prime Air
  • Adam Bry, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Skydio
  • Brandon Torres Declet, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, MEASURE
  • Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President, Head of UAM Division and Chief Executive Officer, Genesis Air Mobility
  • Dr. Catherine Cahill, Director, Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration

The typical term of serving on the DAC is two years.

Congratulations to all the new members and thank you to all the people who have served on the DAC in the past. And, kudos to the FAA for adding more actual drone pilots to the group!

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3 comments

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  • What utter garbage.. Neither of these “Citizens” are anything other than people with a commercial interest in drones.

    Where is the AMA’s representation? Where is the FPVFC’s representation?

    Two VERY good candidates were offered from within these groups and they were passed over in preference for someone who claims a patent on the concept of remote ID (how convenient) and someone who uas a photography business that uses drones.

    Look at the very long list of corporate and commercial interests on that list. You should be asking, why is the group that conducts over 85% of all UAS operations in the USA not represented at all? What is that group? The recreational fliers who fly RC model aircraft and drones as a hobby. Why do they get NO say at all?

    I think that even the dimmest bulb can figure that out.