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About one week after issuing two rules that could finally open up the commercial drone industry, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has appointed new members to its Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). The committee gives the FAA advice on key drone integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements.
The new mmbers are executives who represent a variety of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) interests, including industry, research, academia, retail, technology, and state and local government.
“As the UAS industry continues to evolve, it is important to have DAC members who mirror the many facets of this fast-growing industry. We know the members will help the FAA ensure the highest level of safety while keeping pace with the new and innovative technology for UAS,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
The DAC can have up to 35 members. Below are 12 new members who will serve 2-year terms with DAC chairman Michael Chasen, who also is chairman of the advisory board for PrecisionHawk USA:
- 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
- Kenji Sugahara, President and Chief Executive Officer, Drone Service Providers Alliance
- 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
- Vic Moss, Owner, Moss Photography
Brendan Schulman VP of policy and legal affairs at DJI, was one of the longest-serving members of the committee since its inception over four years ago. He posted the following to his Twitter account:
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. . . pic.twitter.com/ZeGaymY4xM
— Brendan Schulman (@dronelaws) January 5, 2021
The long-awaited rules just passed by the FAA will allow small drones to operate at night and over people and will require remote identification of the drones. Remote ID will be required for all drones weighing 0.55 lb (0.25 kg) or more. It will also be required for smaller drones under certain circumstances.
The other new rule, Operations Over People and at Night, provides flexibility to fly at night, over people and over moving vehicles for drone operators who have an FAA Part 107 permit. To fly at night, drones under 55 lbs must have anti-collision lights and no rotating parts that could lacerate skin. Flying over people depends on how dangerous your drone is in terms of weight and sharp propeller blades.
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