FAA Drone Advisory Committee gives broad support to CONOPs V2 but requires more clarity

The Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) of the US Federal Aviation Administration has given its broad support to the FAA UTM Conops V2 document, but has highlighted 12 areas where further clarification is needed.

The DAC, meeting on June 19, agreed that: “The document is an accurate reflection of the state of UTM development and we support a large majority of the document as written,” said David Silver, Vice President for Civil Aviation, Aerospace Industries Association. “LAANC continues to be the foundation of UTM and it is critical we recognise its benefits,” he said.

The DAC divided its conclusions into two areas: areas of full support and areas where further clarification was needed.

Working group seven of the DAC was tasked with taking a detailed look at the proposals. The group’s Max Fenkell, Director for Unmanned and Emerging Aviation Technologies at the Aerospace Industries Association, said further clarity was needed over areas such as how remote-broadcast ID services will be integrated within the UTM, how all UAS will need to be managed within the UTM system “at some level”, how more complex scenarios – and recreational users – will be accommodated and whether UTM service providers should be required to meet international data protection standards.

One important area for the next version of the document, said Max Fenkell, was the need for the FAA to clearly define roles and responsibilities within the UTM system of drone operators and UTM service providers.

Max Fenkell said he was sure these issues would be more clearly defined in subsequent editions of the document.

According to the FAA:

“The FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) (PDF) is a broad-based, long-term Federal advisory committee that provides the FAA with advice on key UAS integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements. The committee helps to create broad support for an overall integration strategy and vision. Membership (PDF) is comprised of CEO/COO-level executives from a cross-section of stakeholders representing the wide variety of UAS interests, including industry, research and academia, retail, and technology.”

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