The deadline for comments on a notice of proposed rule making which would allow the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate small UAS accidents was July 20.
The NTSB has proposed amending the definition of “Unmanned aircraft accident” by removing the weight-based requirement and replacing it with an airworthiness certificate or airworthiness approval requirement. According to the agency “The weight threshold is no longer an appropriate criterion because unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) under 300 lbs. are operating in high-risk environments, such as beyond line-of-sight and over populated areas. The proposed definition will allow the NTSB to be notified of and quickly respond to UAS events with safety significance.”
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has submitted a formal comment to the process.
“AUVSI is in favor of NTSB playing an active role in aviation safety and welcomes the NTSB’s goal of targeting its UAS investigative authority. The recommendations made by AUVSI seek to ensure that when NTSB engages in an accident investigation there will be tangible benefits to aviation safety. AUVSI also wants to ensure that the NTSB does not inadvertently stifle UAS industry innovation and growth. Accordingly, AUVSI recommended minor modifications to the NPRM that take into account the risk-based approach to UAS operational and aircraft approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).”
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