Bi-partisan support grows for extending FAA’s role in counter-UAS programmes and policies

The bi-partisan Counter-UAS Authority Security, Safety, and Reauthorization Act, introduced in the House Homeland Security Committee in early June will extend the counter-UAS authority of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), say the proponents, while enhancing “important protections for the civil liberties of Americans using drones in a legal and responsible manner, and strengthens public safety in communities throughout the nation.”

According to the House Committee on Homeland Security:

“The Counter-UAS Authority Security, Safety, and Reauthorization Act of 2024 would extend existing DHS and DOJ counter-UAS authorities through October 1, 2028, to counter the growing threat from UAS. Among other measures, this critical legislation will:

  • Clarify and improve coordination requirements between DHS, DOJ, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the FAA.
  • Increase Americans’ privacy and civil liberty protections by ensuring that information gathered by approved counter-UAS systems is not misused or retained for extended periods of time.
  • Prohibit DHS and DOJ from using or authorizing the use of counter-UAS systems that have been manufactured by certain foreign enterprises.
  • Provide Homeland Security Investigations, the principal investigative component of DHS, with counter-UAS authority; and provide DHS with counter-UAS authority to protect public airports.
  • Direct the FAA to establish counter-UAS system minimum performance requirements and provides the FAA with counter-UAS authority to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the National Airspace System.
  • Allow DHS to authorize the acquisition, deployment, and operation of counter-UAS systems by owners or operators of covered sites and critical infrastructure.
  • Require DHS to establish a counter-UAS mitigation pilot program under which selected State law enforcement agencies may operate approved counter-UAS mitigation systems and mitigate unauthorized UAS operations on behalf of covered entities.
  • Require DHS and DOJ to establish standards for counter-UAS system training programs and operator qualifications for the use of counter-UAS detection and mitigation systems, equipment, or technology.
  • Require the FAA, in coordination with DHS and DOJ, to develop a plan for counter-UAS operations at airports.”

Said House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Sam Graves: “This important bill reauthorizes and reforms federal counter-UAS authorities while ensuring that the National Airspace System remains safe and open to drone innovation. With this legislation, we will stay one step ahead of emerging drone threats and begin to put tools into the hands of law enforcement to detect, identify, and, if necessary, mitigate threats posed by unlawful drone usage. Coming to agreement across the aisle and across committee jurisdictions is never easy, and I’m grateful for the bipartisan partnership of T&I Ranking Member Larsen and the leaders of the Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees for making this bill possible.” 


For more information

Homeland Security, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Judiciary Committee Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Counter-Drone Bill Amid Emerging Threats 

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