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FAA launches programme of community, industry engagement on UTM research progress

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is requesting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for a new information collection of data and report submissions by State, local and tribal participants in the UAS BEYOND programme (BEYOND), and by industry participants in the Partnership for Safety Plan (PSP) programmes.

According to (edited) text of the budget request:

“The purpose of the BEYOND and PSP programs is for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with state, local and tribal (SLT) governments (BEYOND) and private UAS operators (PSP) to work toward full, safe integration of UAS into the national airspace system (NAS). There are eight SLT governments in the BEYOND program and seven industry participants in the PSP program. The programs have multiple data collections that serve different purposes to help the FAA achieve the goals.

“First, there are narrative reports that will provide qualitative, non-statistical data that will inform the FAA of operational trends, highlight successes and failures and their causes, and describe challenges and lessons learned. These narrative reports are meant to inform the FAA of progress being made, to identify where there are challenges or gaps in understanding, and to help the FAA make policy and resource decisions. The data will be supplied by the eight SLT governments in the BEYOND program, and the seven industry operators in the PSP program.

“Second, there are systems and operations data submissions which will provide both quantitative and qualitative information about the program participants’ aircraft, flights, corrective maintenance actions, off-nominal flight events, and UAS testing activities. The submissions are not statistical in nature but are designed to supply data that will help inform policy and standards related to UAS pilots flying their aircraft beyond their visual line of sight. The data will be supplied by the eight SLT governments in the BEYOND program, and the seven industry operators in the PSP program.

“Third, there are societal and economic data submissions that will provide qualitative and quantitative data regarding the potential societal and economic impacts of participant UAS operations. These are non-statistical reports that provide insight into the types of societal and economic benefits or detriments the participants’ UAS operations are having on their communities and their business operations compared to non-UAS (legacy) operations. These submissions will help to inform FAA policy and decision-making toward integrating different types of operations into the NAS, and to inform discussions with the public on the potential benefits of using UAS. The data will be supplied by the eight SLT governments in the BEYOND program, and the seven industry operators in the PSP program.

“Fourth, there is a community engagement component to the programs which includes two separate, but related, collections. One of these is the reports that will provide qualitative and quantitative data regarding the participants’ community outreach activities, including the types of activities, the targeted audiences, and the types and quantity of feedback received. The reports will include any raw data collected using questionnaires or surveys. These submissions are not statistical in nature, but will provide valuable information to the FAA that will inform community engagement best practices and lessons learned which can be shared with the public. The data will be supplied by the eight SLT governments in the BEYOND program, and the seven industry operators in the PSP program.

“The other piece of the community engagement component is the Community Engagement Tool, which will include a potential burden on the general public. The Community Engagement Tool was developed by the FAA as an optional aid for program participants that includes general and operation-specific questions related to UAS operations. The BEYOND and PSP participants may choose to use any of the pertinent sample survey questions when developing their own questionnaires to survey the general public in their communities. The tool includes questions on general knowledge of UAS and sentiments toward potential benefits or drawbacks of UAS operations. The Community Engagement Tool is intended to help the program participants develop simple questionnaires with no intended utility other than gaining insight into the general public’s experience with, and opinions of, UAS operations. No statistical analysis or inference will be performed other than tabulation of responses. Results may be used to help develop lessons learned or best practices for other UAS stakeholders pertaining to community engagement activities.”

For more information

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/04/2021-24083/agency-information-collection-activities-requests-for-comments-clearance-of-new-approval-of

 

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