Lessons from Apollo 11, Because They are Hard
As we work to embrace new uses of our national airspace today, we too understand that groundbreaking ideas won’t be easy to implement, but it helps when you tap the brain trust and resources of industry and other stakeholders.
One example is the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Controlled Airspace (UASCA), which the ATO led with industry and included other agencies such as NASA and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. Chartered in 2017, the ARC primarily dealt with enabling larger UAS in Class A and Upper E airspace. The committee considered operational capability, separation services, automation, and other data in its deliberations.
Last month, the committee submitted five recommendations that the FAA has now begun to assess related to rulemaking, automation, procedures and performance standards.
One recommendation asks us to update our rulemaking that requires that pilots be responsible for seeing and avoiding, because a UAS pilot on the ground would need to be able to rely on electronic means to see and avoid nearby aircraft.
Another recommendation related to command and control asks us to develop a consistent standard for how air traffic controllers and UAS operators will respond in situations where a UAS operator loses its communication link with ground control.
The committee also asked us to look at updating automation, temporary airspace requests and performance standards.
Our collaborative team is working hard to consider ways to turn these recommendations into solutions that will help us transform our national airspace system.
Great job, everyone!