A week after the U.S. Department of Transportation released its official statement concerning a controversial new drone-registration proposal, one of the government’s proposed task-force members released their official take on the process.
The Consumer Electronics Association, a technology trade association representing more than 2,000 companies – the bulk of the $285 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry — lauded its appointment to the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration Task Force and vowed to bring a balanced perspective on behalf of the commercial drone industry.
“We’re honored the FAA recognizes the significant impact our members – several of whom will join us on the Task Force – have on the consumer drone market and community, and asked us to share our expertise and insights,” stated CEA vice president of technology policy Doug Johnson.
“CEA expects this to be a defining year for drones – with projected annual unit sales approaching 700,000, a 63 percent increase in just one year – so thoughtful expediency is critical to this effort,” he added.
In a previous statement, the CEA advised that such a registration system should be imposed narrowly “to ensure aviation safety, consumer privacy rights, innovation and jobs in this nascent industry.”
“New federal government requirements for reporting of product ownership must be balanced against factors including convenience, data integrity and privacy,” stated CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro.
“Drones are revolutionizing how we respond to emergencies and disasters, track our weather and monitor traffic. The expansion of these technologies into agriculture, energy, utilities, mining, construction, real estate, news media and film production will change the way we do business,” Shapiro added. “Transformative, disruptive technologies require new thinking on how to create and support an innovative market, both in regulatory and non-regulatory activities.”
Shapiro said that the CEA will continue to encourage drone users to embrace the “Know Before You Fly” safety campaign.
“UAS technology – if allowed by government to thrive – will be key to U.S. global technology leadership,” Johnson said. “Given the importance of this issue, we look forward to working with the FAA and other stakeholders on a full and thorough examination of the potential benefits and drawbacks with various approaches to UAS registration.”
The CEA paints a rosy picture for the commercial drone sector. The group’s semi-annual industry report released in July projects the U.S. drone market will approach $105 million in revenue in 2015 – a more than 52 percent increase over 2014 with unit sales expected to approach 700,000, an increase of 63 percent.
CEA’s ray of sunshine arrives in a particularly cloudy week for the drone industry on the heels of yesterday’s Senate Subcommittee hearing on the “Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology into the National Airspace System.” During a session devoted to possible drone dangers to commercial aircraft, senators heard from academics, FAA officials and pilot lobbyists but did not invite any industries representatives to provide fair and balanced testimony on drone safety.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.