People are captivated by the limitless possibilities the drone industry offers, but with them comes a host of safety challenges, as hundreds of thousands of drones take to the sky. At the Federal Aviation Administration, we realize we can’t solve these challenges alone. We need the expertise and collaboration of key industry and government stakeholders.
Enter the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST), which held its first meeting October 18-19 in Washington, DC.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the creation of the UAST at the White House Drone Day on August 2. The group, which includes a wide variety of stakeholders from the drone and aviation industries, as well as the government, will gather and analyze data to enhance safety and operations of drones in the nation’s airspace.
The UAST is modeled on the highly successful Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) and General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC). CAST and the GAJSC use a data-driven, consensus-based approach to analyze safety data and develop specific interventions that will mitigate the root causes of accidents. Recommendations from both groups have significantly improved traditional aviation safety, and we expect the UAST to do the same for unmanned aircraft.
Although this first meeting was primarily organizational, team participants were enthusiastic about participating on the UAST and advancing the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace.