DJI, the world’s leading manufacturer of consumer and commercial drones, announced today that the FAA had invited the company to be represented on the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration Task Force. The manufacturer has always taken a strong position on safety, providing geofencing technology and other safety features in its products, and taking a role in educating consumers with their “Fly Safe” intiatives.
The invitation may help to allay fears that industry and research in the drone sector will be underrepresented on the drone registration task force. Industry spokesperson Michael Drobac, director of the Small UAV Coalition, as been outspoken in his skepticism of the plan. “As with all things, the devil is in the detail,” Drobac told Bloomberg. “We have very little detail and much of this feels like it’s being pulled together very rapidly and with very little input from industry.”
Other task force members include the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the Air Line Pilot’s Association, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, and the American Association of Airport Executives. The Air Line Pilot’s Association, a labor union with over 52,000 members, has been a vocal proponent of a registry system. Capt. Tim Canoll, the union president, has said registration is necessary to highlight the seriousness of safety regulations.
DJI’s VP of Policy and Legal Affairs, Brendan Schulman, will act as DJI’s representative on the task force.
“While I am concerned about the short schedule and limited opportunity for public comment, we support regulatory approaches that strike an appropriate balance between risk, benefit and the burden of compliance,” said Schulman. “DJI intends to represent the interests of its customers as this process moves forward.”
Schulman said DJI encourages all of its customers to contribute comments to the DOT and task force during the open period over the next 15 days.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.