July 6th, 2014
I’ve had several readers over the weekend ask me to promote this recently created petition on the White House website to: Compel the FAA to adopt the UK’s commercial sUAS standards immediately.
I’ve signed this petition and fully support the concept. My only concern about the petition is that there would be more signatures faster if it were clearer exactly what UK commercial sUAS standards were. I’ve been doing some research to find out what the major UK standards are. This is the best definition that I’ve found.
PFRE reader, Chuck Spaulding pointed out to me that the main issue behind this petition is that the FAA’s current rulemaking committee is mostly aerospace companies and effectively no one with RCMA involvement or interest so guess who’s interests are going to be represented in the rulemaking process? Apparently the certification training in the UK is done by their model association and supervised by the UK equivalent of the FAA.
I think this petition is a good start to get some high level visibility that the FAA is not focused on rules for the small RCMA that we talk about here and there’s no rocket science in the rules the UK has had these rules in place for a couple of years and it’s a good starting point that can be used immediately! For this reason I highly recommend signing this petition!
There is some irony in the fact that this petition is dated on the anniversary of the US independence from Britain. It’s time to admit that the British get a lot of things right… a sUAS process is just one of them!
Update 7/10: Also another way to give feedback to the FAA is at at their feedback page on Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. See the article at Forbes about this page. I just struggled for 20 minutes trying to give feedback on the FAA feedback page and finally discovered that if you use the Chrome browser the comment page won’t work… keeps saying the comment field is empty. As soon as I switched to Safari the comment page worked. Do you think this could have an effect on the low comment rate. I do, chrome is the most popular browser – many people are probably giving up and leaving. And these are the people that are regulating our air space and new technology?