US Senate approves FAA Reauthorization Act

The US Senate has now voted 93-6 in support of the  FAA Reauthorization Act. The legislation, now heads to President Trump for his signature.

According to U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA)’s office the legislation includes a directive for the FAA to develop a plan for commercial package delivery by drone within a year and language to codify the Department of Transportation’s UAS Integration Pilot Program.

Provisions from Sen. Warner’s bipartisan Safe DRONE Act included in the FAA bill will:

  • Extend authorization of FAA-designed UAS test sites—including Virginia Tech—for five more years, through fiscal year 2023;
  • Advance the FAA’s development of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems and technology to assist with increased safe integration of UAS operations into the national airspace;
  • Require a multi-agency assessment of current spectrum demands and challenges for use by the UAS industry; and
  • Create a Center of Excellence for Community Colleges to offer training for UAS operations and maintenance to build a skilled workforce.
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