Drone Advisory Council launched to ‘advance drone technology and capabilities’

The US drone industry has launched a Drone Advisory Council (DAC) to champion the cause of drone enthusiasts, professionals, and industry stakeholders, announced during Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas. The DAC is an industry-led group devoted to advancing drone technology, capabilities, and the safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System (NAS), says the press release.

The drone industry has seen a myriad of initiatives over the years, but the DAC promises to stand apart. Its mission is: “To advance drone technology and capabilities through transparency, advocacy, and action, fostering a harmonized airspace for recreational, commercial, and public safety purposes.”

Underpinning this mission is a vision of inclusivity and progressiveness. The DAC envisions a drone ecosystem where transparency is the driving force behind every action. With an open platform approach, the DAC invites stakeholders from all quarters to join hands in bringing about tangible advancements across communities, states, and national airspace.

At the core of the DAC are three pillars:

  1. Formative– Ensuring drone perspectives are considered right from the early stages of ideation.
  2. Substantive– Playing a crucial role in rulemaking, advocating for swift and functional implementation.
  3. Enduring– Providing sustained advocacy and support even after regulations come into effect.

DAC Objectives – near-term

  • Membership Recruitment:Actively engage and onboard members, embracing both individuals and organizations passionate about the drone ecosystem.
  • Establishment of Top Priorities:Convene discussions to outline and finalize key focus areas that resonate with the DAC’s mission.
  • Operational Cadence: Design and implement a structured meeting cadence, ensuring effective collaboration and progress tracking.

DAC Objectives – long-term

The DAC’s long-term objectives speak to the true potential of drone flight to transform education, elevate commerce, and improve humanity. At the founding of the DAC, long-term objectives include:

  • BVLOS: There is consensus from congress, industry, and regulators that BVLOS is necessary for drones to reach a new level of scale and become a sustainable industry for millions of pilots. Yet, rulemaking continues to be pushed out, and there is a contingency of legacy and traditional aviation parties that don’t want to see BVLOS come to fruition. The DAC will be focused on engaging stakeholders and advocating for a cogent rule.
  • STEM: Drones have the potential to impact education and prepare students for new technologies. We believe that the DAC can be a resource for many levels of education.
  • UTM: This amorphous idea of UTM represents the realization of drones and drone pilots’ true place in an integrated and universal NAS. The DAC will provide practical and visionary solutions to continue our industry’s path towards an airspace that is better utilized and democratically shared across all participants of the NAS.

The DAC extends an open invitation to all interested stakeholders, regardless of their size or sector. The organization’s commitment to a flat structure ensures that the best ideas and the most passionate advocates lead the charge. Overseeing this structure is the Executive Council, initially comprising select founding members. As the DAC evolves, mechanisms for nominating and voting individuals into the council will be established, ensuring representation and dynamism.

Jon Hegranes, DAC Founder and CEO & Founder of Aloft remarked, “The DAC is more than just an advisory council; it’s a rallying cry for the voice of the new majority of pilots. As drones already stand as the predominant stakeholder in the airspace, it’s crucial for us to advocate for airspace access that mirrors our overwhelming numbers and unmatched safety record. I’m profoundly grateful to all our founding members for their unparalleled expertise and unwavering passion that spans every key stakeholder group we represent. Drones aren’t just shaping the future of aviation; they are redefining the contours of transportation. We’re on the cusp of a greener, safer, more efficient era, and I firmly believe that drones are central to this transformative journey.”

For more details or to get involved, contact the Drone Advisory Council at info@droneadvisorycouncil.org.

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