Statement by the Commercial Drone Alliance Applauding Passage of FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

Statement by the Commercial Drone Alliance Applauding Passage of FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

Legislation Opens the Door to Expansion of Beneficial Commercial Drone Operations Safely and Securely


Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., October 3, 2018: The Commercial Drone Alliance, an independent 501(c)(6) non-profit led by key figures of the commercial drone industry, today released a statement by its Co-Executive Directors, Lisa Ellman and Gretchen West, praising the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (“the Act”).  

The United States Senate today passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.  This follows an affirmative vote in the House on September 26 and sends the bill to the White House for the President’s signature. The Act includes significant provisions that enhance the necessary safety and security framework for proper National Airspace System integration—thereby promoting innovation and providing the path forward for commercial drone technology to take off in the United States.  

From improving the Part 107 waiver process, to promoting Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management efforts, to expressing the sense of Congress that integrating UAS into the National Airspace System is top priority, the Act expresses clearly the federal government’s strong desire to enable expanded commercial drone operations (including flights over people, beyond visual line of sight, and at night) in an expeditious way. And with a framework now in place to enhance drone security, the commercial drone industry is poised to take off.  

“Until today, drone policy concerns halted new rulemakings that would expand the ability of the commercial drone industry to fly over people, at night, and beyond visual line of sight.  With the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, we are thrilled that the FAA is closer than ever to moving forward with rules that can broadly enable expanded commercial drone operations,” said Lisa Ellman, Commercial Drone Alliance.   

Gretchen West, Commercial Drone Alliance, added “The Commercial Drone Alliance stands ready to continue our work with the FAA and other stakeholders to make expanded commercial drone operations, in addition to broad remote identification, a reality. We hope to see these rulemakings move forward expeditiously.” 

The commercial drone market is growing exponentially. From industrial inspection and disaster response, to precision agriculture and cell tower inspection, to delivery of goods, newsgathering and critical infrastructure security – and everything in between – the positive impact of drones is endless.

The Commercial Drone Alliance is an industry-led, 501(c)(6) non-profit association representing commercial drone end users and the broader commercial drone ecosystem.  Our members include key leaders in the commercial drone industry, including manufacturers, service providers, software developers, and end users in vertical markets such as oil and gas, precision agriculture, construction, security, communications technology, infrastructure, newsgathering, filmmaking, and more.