July 3, 2012
New Guidelines Set Out For Unmanned Aircraft
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A new form of piloting is evolving, and as unmanned vehicles continue to take flight, an industry code of conduct was drawn up and published recently in order to ensure safety.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) published the "Unmanned Aircraft System Operations Industry Code of Conduct" on Monday.
These guidelines will help provide AUVSI members with a set of recommendations to follow in order to ensure safety and non-intrusive operation.
AUVSI said the code of conduct is needed to establish "safety, professionalism, and respect" in all uses of unmanned aircraft.
The organization said the code is meant to provide the industry manufacturers and users a convenient checklist for operations, and a way to demonstrate their obligation to growing the industry in a safe and responsible way.
“The emergence of unmanned aircraft systems represents one of the most significant advancements to aviation, the scientific community, and public service since the beginning of flight,” Michael Toscano, AUVSI president & CEO, said in a press release. “With a commitment to safety, professionalism and respect, we can ensure unmanned aircraft are integrated responsibly into civil airspace."
The guidelines recommend who should be flying unmanned aircrafts in order to minimize risk, and also commit to complying with all federal, state and local laws.
“By proactively adhering to these guidelines, we want to demonstrate how the rights of individuals and the safety of all users of civil airspace are our top priority, as we work to unlock the incredible potential this technology holds,” Toscano said in the press release.
The FAA signed the Modernization and Reform Act into law on February 14, 2012, which included a provision requiring the FAA to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace, accruing to AUVSI.
The organization said the FAA law created a number of deadlines for the government body to meet on its way to safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace by September, 2015.
"Unmanned aircraft systems extend human potential, allowing individuals to execute dangerous and often difficult tasks safely and efficiently," AUVSI said in a statement. "Whether it is aiding search and rescue efforts, navigating through airspace too hazardous for manned vehicles, or furthering scientific research, UAS are capable of saving time, saving money and most importantly, saving lives."