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.