Press Release

Hearing: Research Supporting Deployment of Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems

By SpaceRef Editor
January 19, 2015
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Washington, D.C. – For most people, the term unmanned aerial system (UAS) is typically associated with a military aircraft.  However, these vehicles and systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are viable for a broad range of civilian and commercial uses. For example, farmers can use small UAS to monitor their crops. Emergency responders could more quickly access disaster areas to search for survivors.  And energy companies could examine power lines and pipelines to assess damage or prevent leaks. However, due to the delays in integrating UAS into the National Airspace System, the public is not yet allowed to use UAS to do any of these things. 

On Wednesday January 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing to review research and development (R&D) performed by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the area of UAS and their integration into the National Airspace System. 

The Teal Group, an aerospace and defense industry market intelligence firm, predicts America will spend over $11 billion dollars on UAS research, development, testing and evaluation over the next decade. Moreover, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimated that in the next ten years over 100,000 U.S. jobs could be created as a result of UAS integration into the National Airspace System. The report also predicted that continued delays could cost the U.S. more than $10 billion per year, or $27.6 million per day.

WHAT: Hearing on Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research and Development

WHEN: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm

WHERE: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building


Dr. Ed Waggoner, Director, Integrated Systems Research Program, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, NASA

Mr. James Williams, Manager, UAS Integration Office, Aviation Safety Organization, FAA

Dr. John Lauber, Co-Chair, Committee on Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation, National Research Council

Mr. Brian Wynne, CEO and President, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

Mr. Colin Guinn, CRO, 3D Robotics, Small UAV Coalition Member

Dr. John R. Hansman, T. Wilson Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

SpaceRef staff editor.