35 members, representing diverse interests of aviation and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) convened in Washington, DC on Friday, September 16, to begin the work of forging consensus on the best way to integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). Led by Intel Corporation CEO, Brian Krzanich, and FAA Acting Deputy Administrator, Victoria Wassmer, the DAC spent its first meeting discussing the most pressing issues that must be resolved, and agreeing on the top two issues to start tackling. Facilitated by RTCA President, Margaret Jenny, and RTCA VP, Al Secen, the group reviewed the results of a pre-meeting survey and were able to reach consensus on the top priorities for the group, answering the questions, “What do I need to do to fly a drone in the airspace?”, and “What are the most pressing privacy concerns and what are the respective roles, responsibilities and authorities of local, state and federal entities in resolving those issues?”
The Committee agreed that the remaining list of issues will go to a soon-to-be-formed DAC SubCommittee to prioritize.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta opened the meeting, stating the importance of the Committee and reiterating that the FAA cannot operate at the pace of government in an industry that iterates in months. In his remarks, Administrator Huerta gave a mandate to the Committee, to “Go put together a To-Do List of your own… Your job is to put your heads together and discuss the things that are most important to the industry as a whole.” The two top priorities identified for the first working groups follow this mandate and were the result of a consensus during the meeting. Mr. Krzanich stressed the importance of the working together toward a common outcome, saying, “Consensus does not mean that everyone gets 100% of what they want, but rather that everyone is heard, believes the process was fair and all can live with the results.”
Members from as diverse a spectrum as the leaders of Google [X], Amazon Prime Air, and Facebook, as well as the Mayor of San Francisco, the CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, the President and CEO of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and President of American Airlines, the President and CEO of Helicopter Association, International and more, all weighed in on their priorities for the Committee. A more detailed summary of the inaugural meetings will be posted on the DAC webpage
The full roster as well as the charter for the DAC can be found at www.rtca.org