AUVSI launches ‘Partnership for Drone Competitiveness’ to strengthen US drone industry

The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has announced the launch of the Partnership for Drone Competitiveness, a coalition built to support a stronger US drone industry, enable greater security for customers and end users, forge American leadership in advanced aviation, and effectively level the playing field for domestic and allied drone manufacturers against foreign subsidized competition, says the association.

The Partnership represents a coalition of leading US and allied drone and drone component manufacturers and enterprise users of drones. Together, the group will advocate for targeted investments and common-sense policies that level the playing field against state-subsidized competitors and reduce dependence on foreign supply chains for components and rare earth materials.

The coalition aims to advance policies that enhance competitiveness for the US drone industry. The coalition intends to host an event later this year calling on Congress to pass legislation advancing these policies.

Partnership supporters include AeroVironment, Arrive, Avangrid, BRINC Drones, Dark Wolf Solutions, Censys Technologies, Draganfly, DroneUp, Easy Aerial, MatrixSpace, MissionGO, Mobilicom, Near Earth Autonomy, Ondas Holdings, Phoenix Air Unmanned, ProximaVision, Skydio, Skyfish, Skyfront, Valor Robotics, Watts Innovations, Workhorse Aero, WISPR Systems, and members of AUVSI’s Air Advocacy Committee.

In addition to launching the Partnership, AUVSI released a corresponding whitepaper detailing the Partnership’s inception, the challenges facing the industry, and policy recommendations for US lawmakers and regulators. Among the whitepaper’s key findings are:

  • China Flooding the Market with Subsidized Drones: Chinese drones account for almost all of the drones used in consumer, industrial, and first responder markets, largely benefitting from “Made in China” economic policies bolstered by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The result of a market flooded by Chinese products represents a threat to the United States’ national security, aviation leadership and workforce development, and values and fundamental human rights.
  • The Need to Boost the US Drone IndustryIncentivizing US leadership in the drone industry represents a strategic imperative in a market long characterized by state-subsidized companies based in China. AUVSI believes it is essential to advance security and competitiveness in a thoughtful way that respects existing investments while building toward a more secure, sustainable future that puts US interests first.

The Partnership will support policies and legislation which allow the US to reposition itself as the global leader in advanced aviation. The Partnership intends to host an in-person, public event later this fall commemorating recent legislation. The Partnership’s recommended legislative actions include:

  • Establishing manufacturing tax credits and loan guarantees;
  • Supporting access to critical minerals;
  • Creating new federal grants for first responders and enhancing existing ones;
  • Enacting pending pieces of legislation including the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act, the American Security Drone Act, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization;
  • And ensuring funding for and suitable transition periods for agencies transitioning from foreign made to secure drone fleets.

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