ARC Recommendations on Counter UAS, UAS Detection and Mitigation Systems
The FAA recently received the final recommendations from the UAS Detection and Mitigation Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). This milestone follows the directive outlined in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 to address the safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Air Space (NAS). The ARC, comprised of representatives from diverse aviation communities, government entities, subject matter experts, and stakeholders, began work in May 2023 with a focus on ensuring the safety and efficiency of the NAS amid the increasing presence of UAS.
Throughout its deliberations, the ARC emphasized key themes including legal considerations, real-time data sharing, communication protocols, research needs, and maintaining global leadership in the UAS industry. These discussions culminated in a comprehensive set of recommendations aimed at guiding the FAA and relevant federal agencies in crafting policies and standards for UAS detection and mitigation systems.
The ARC’s recommendations underscore several crucial points:
- Policy decisions should be informed by a thorough understanding of the UAS industry, with separate consideration for detection and mitigation issues.Robust research and analysis are necessary to establish minimum performance standards, safety frameworks, best practices, and training programs for UAS detection and mitigation systems.
- Testing protocols should be established, with third-party verification, for system testing and authorization.
- An entity responsible for monitoring UAS detection and mitigation operations in airport terminal airspace should be established.
- Clear approval processes should be developed for deployment at airports and non-airport facilities, with mandatory training and certification for system operators.
- A scalable regulatory framework, with privacy protections, should be implemented to govern operational requirements and data sharing.
Read the full ARC recommendations document here.
The ARC’s recommendations aim to facilitate the safe and widespread adoption of UAS detection and mitigation systems while ensuring minimal interference with NAS operations. Notably, the recommendations emphasize the need for ongoing evaluation and adaptation as UAS technology continues to evolve.
Chairs of the ARC emphasized the critical importance of regulating UAS detection and mitigation systems, particularly in light of evolving UAS applications, both civilian and military. The recommendations reflect months of collaborative effort among diverse stakeholders, encompassing various use-case scenarios and addressing societal interests.
“Airports are chiefly concerned with ensuring the safety and security of the traveling public, airport workers, and airport infrastructure,” said ACI-NA Executive Vice President Matt Cornelius, co-chair of the ARC. “We thank all the experts who contributed their time and efforts to this important initiative to develop a roadmap for providing the aviation community and others with the tools needed to protect critical infrastructure like airports. We look forward to continuing our work with the FAA and other relevant federal agencies in implementing the recommendations contain in this report.”
“The U.S. is positioned for global leadership in demonstrating how effective UAS detection and mitigation policies and technologies can ensure airspace safety and security, while enabling UAS market growth,” said Michael Robbins, Chief Advocacy Officer at AUVSI and co-chair of the ARC. “We thank the public safety community and other stakeholders reflecting a diverse range of perspectives for their participation on the Committee, and this report reflects their input. We call on the FAA to move swifty to implement the ARC plan to bring forward the benefits that detection and mitigation tools can provide to public safety, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and other entities, while also enabling expanded safe and secure drone operations.”
The ARC’s work signifies a significant step towards effective regulation of UAS detection and mitigation, with the potential to serve as a model for other countries grappling with similar challenges. The FAA will now evaluate the recommendations to inform future regulatory measures, balancing innovation and safety in the rapidly evolving landscape of unmanned aviation.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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