US: In major step toward enabling unmanned aircraft to operate freely in the US the federal government released a set of plans on how it plans to integrate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the national airspace, including a policy to help protect the privacy of those living near drone test sites. The roadmap addresses current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures that will be required as demand moves the country from today’s limited accommodation of UAS operations to the extensive integration of UAS into the NextGen aviation system in the future.
“Government and industry face significant challenges as unmanned aircraft move into the aviation mainstream,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This roadmap is an important step forward that will help stakeholders understand the operational goals and safety issues we need to consider when planning for the future of our airspace.”
The roadmap outlines the FAA’s approach to ensuring that widespread UAS use is safe, from the perspective of accommodation, integration, and evolution. The FAA’s main goal for integration is to establish requirements that UAS operators will have to meet in order to increase access to airspace over the next five to 10 years. The roadmap discusses items such as new or revised regulations, policies, procedures, guidance material, training and understanding of systems and operations to support routine UAS operations.
The FAA plans to select six UAS test sites to begin work on safely integrating UAS into the airspace.