Date
18 October 2017
The committee's failure to reach consensus on important aspects of regulation may delay plans for expanded commercial drone operations in the United States. Photo: Reuters
The committee's failure to reach consensus on important aspects of regulation may delay plans for expanded commercial drone operations in the United States. Photo: Reuters

FAA panel can’t agree on drone tracking requirements: WSJ

A US federal advisory committee has failed to agree on proposals to identify and track unmanned aircraft, potentially delaying plans for expanded commercial drone operations in the country, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing committee officials.

The committee could not reach consensus on such issues as what categories of drones should require remote monitoring, the newspaper said. 

As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration is likely to find it more difficult to implement rules acceptable to concerned parties, the report said.

A majority of the committee did conclude that technology is available to detect and trace low-altitude flights of small drones that occur outside normal ground-radar coverage.

In the case of larger drones flying at higher altitudes, however, it may take two or three more years to develop technical standards for communication links and collision-avoidance technology.

The panel, composed of more than 70 industry, labor and law enforcement experts, had presented its report to aviation regulators earlier this month, although it has not been made public, the Journal said.

Industry officials say FAA leaders have told panel members the agency might reconvene the group in a bid to achieve more-unified results, the report said.

FAA administrator Michael Huerta recently described the panel as an important building block to end the regulatory logjam confronting the agency and industry champions.

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