Welcome to this week's Unmanned Tactical Group and Pilot Institute's Public Safety UAS News Update. On today's agenda, we're going to be talking about the Federal House of Representatives House Bill H-6572, which is a full ban on DJI across the United States. We're going to discuss the FAA's Public Aircraft Operation Legal opinion change, and we're also going to talk about the Counter UAS Art Committee and who's representing those for Public Safety. We're going to round it out with a win coming out of Monroe County, Indiana. It's going to be an exciting webcast; let's dive in.
Federal House of Representatives Bill H-6572 – DJI Ban
First up, we're going to talk about the Federal House of Representatives Bill H-6572. This bill was presented by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik out of New York and co-written by Mark Gallagher out of Wisconsin. This bill was introduced to put the DJI platform on the Federal Communications Commission's covered list. What that means is that it would prohibit DJI platforms from being operated in the United States, regardless of who's using it.
So again, that means that anybody, ranging from recreational users all the way up to full-blown government operations that are out there trying to save lives, will not be able to use DJI in the United States.
This will affect everybody from real estate agents to officers, Firefighters, and everybody in between. So make sure that you get with your representatives and let them know to oppose this bill, and also reach out to Congresswoman Stefanik and Congressman Mike Gallagher and let them know how this bill would impact your agency's operations. Let them know that it is okay to be utilizing DJI and why you're using it. Typically, this is just something that they just need to get a little bit of education on, explaining why it's important for you and your agency.
FAA's Public Aircraft Operation legal opinion change
Next up, we have the FAA's opinion change from General Counsel for Public Aircraft Operations. Previously, to operate a small unmanned aircraft system under a Public Aircraft Operations COA, it had to be an emergency event listed under the government function criteria for Public Safety responses.
The analysis contained in those legal interpretations, specific to governmental functions, is no longer applicable for unmanned aircraft. This means that uncrewed aircraft operations are no longer restricted to only emergency operation deployments, and Public Aircraft Operations can now be leveraged for any type of deployment, whether that is for an emergency event or even now parades. We could deploy for Public Aircraft Operations for those. Now, we are still going to be restricted to not being able to leverage Public Aircraft Operation COAs for private sector purposes. Meaning, if a construction company came out and said, “Hey, we want you to go and fly for our construction event for the city,” we would not be able to fly a Public Aircraft Operation COA for that.
You would still need your Part 107. But this does open up the door for Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations for any type of deployment, instead of it only being restricted to an emergency event.
A prime example of that is Beverly Hills, California's Drones First Responder Program. They're looking to implement persistent, ongoing patrol utilizing the Drones First Responder Program and Beyond Visual Line of Sight. Now, this would make that legal and allows them to open up the door for those routine patrols utilizing the drone's first responder program, which is huge.
So we're looking forward to seeing that and looking forward to seeing how that's going to benefit agencies across the nation leveraging Public Aircraft Operation COAs.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also formed the UAS Detection and Mitigation Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee, or ARC. This is going to be comprised of 58 stakeholders and UAS industry experts.
From those UAS industry experts representing public safety, we have Chief Roxanne Kennedy from the Chula Vista Police Department, Jason Day from Texas DPS, Major Richard Boyd from the Virginia State Police, and Chris Todd from Drone Responders.
This ARC is going to be really helpful for public safety because these are the people that are going to be advocating for us to try to get common sense and enforceable drone detection and mitigation rule making that will come forward here in the future.
Make sure that you're reaching out to those representatives and let them know that, “Hey, this is what we need for our jurisdiction and this is why.”
This is going to be something that we're all going to be impacted by in the future as drones become more and more prevalent for not only nefarious purposes but also advanced air mobility and things of that nature. We're going to need to make sure that we're keeping a clean and safe airspace utilizing drones and having pathways to ensure that is done safely within our own jurisdictions is paramount.
So, make sure you reach out to those individuals again representing Public Safety: Chief Kennedy from Chula Vista Police Department, California, Texas DPS's UAS Program Manager Jason Day, Major Richard Boyd from Virginia State Police, and Drone Responders' Chris Todd.
Monroe County police captures suspect with help of DJI Mavic
Lastly, we're going to talk about a win. The other night, up in Monroe County, Indiana, the Sheriff's Office was chasing a suspect in a vehicle. That suspect eventually got out of that vehicle and then ran from police officers.
They posted a video of how they were able to locate that suspect by utilizing a DJI platform; judging from the display, it looked like a Mavic platform. They located the suspect running, they were able to coordinate with ground personnel to explain where that suspect was moving, and then create a great perimeter to apprehend that suspect safely. The great thing about that is it allows officers to know exactly where the suspect is, where to go, where the safe routes are. It allows them to de-escalate before they ever get anywhere near him. So another huge win, excellent job Monroe, Indiana!
That's it for this week's webcast. We appreciate you all listening. We covered Monroe, Indiana's win, we discussed the Counter UAS ARC, we talked about the new Public Aircraft legal opinion, and then we talked about the House Bill that is going forward on the federal side of the House for a full ban of DJI through the FCC.
So, I appreciate everybody coming out and listening. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out. This week's webcast was sponsored by Adorama. You all have a great one, and we'll see you on the next one. Thank you!
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