US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced new additions and changes to membership in the Drone Advisory Committee of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The new members include representatives of the US manufacturer Skydio and Amazon Prime as well as the individual drone operator Vic Moss and Kenji Sugahara, President and CEO of the Drone Services Providers Alliance. The term of office of the members, including Brendan Schulman of DJI, an original member of the DAC, has expired.
“The Drone Advisory Committee is key to helping the FAA keep pace with innovation while maintaining safety,” said US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao in an FAA press release.
“Members are leaders who represent a wide variety of unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAS) interests, including industry, research, science, retail, technology, and state and local government agencies.”
The Drone Advisory Committee was an influential group that advised the FAA on regulatory issues such as remote ID and the commercial waiver process. A recently passed Senate bill called for more transparency and greater representation of state, local, and tribal governments in the DAC: Drone industry stakeholders have long asked that individual service providers and pilots be represented.
“As the UAS industry evolves, it is important to have DAC members who reflect the many facets of this fast growing industry. We know FAA members will help ensure the highest levels of safety while keeping pace with new and innovative technology for UAS, ”said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
The following are the new members to join the Drone Advisory Committee.
- Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation
- Dr. Paul Hsu, founder and chairman of the HSU Foundation
- Matt Parker, president of Precision Integrated Programs
- Molly Wilkinson, vice president of regulatory affairs for American Airlines
- Brad Hayden, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Robotic Skies
- David Carbon, Vice President and General Manager of Amazon Prime Air
- Adam Bry, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Skydio
- Kenji Sugahara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Drone Service Providers Alliance
- Brandon Torres Declet, MEASURE’s chairman and co-founder
- Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President, Head of UAM and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Air Mobility
- Dr. Catherine Cahill, director of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration
- Vic Moss, Owner, Moss Photography
A full list of members can be found here.
On Twitter, Brendan Schulman of DJI, one of the original members of the Drone Advisory Committee, made this statement about his tenure on the DAC and the performance of the Advisory Committee to date.
I have had the privilege of serving as one of the longest-serving members of the FAA Drone Advisory Committee since its inception over four years ago. With my tenure now ending, I am glad to have been not only a representative of the world’s largest drone manufacturer DJI, but also an advocate for the commercial and recreational drone operators that are at the heart of the US industry.
Looking back on years of working together, we’ve made a difference by giving the FAA a perspective on issues of vital importance, including security, funding for FAA drone initiatives, federal, state and local government roles and responsibilities, remote ID, the commercial waiver process , controlled airspace permits and the promotion of a safety culture. The FAA deserves credit for soliciting these industry opinions and taking them seriously as they plan for the future.
I’m very excited to see that the new list of DAC members, which replaces some of us classic cars, includes individual operators and small businesses, and adds an important representation that I have advocated repeatedly at several DAC meetings. I look forward to continuing to work in a variety of ways with government and industry stakeholders on our shared mission of safe growth and innovation.