One thing that most of the drone industry – and regulators – can agree upon is the need for clear drone laws, enacted as quickly as possible. It’s not an easy task, and among the many complex issues that both industry and regulators must understand and address is drone security. The Commercial Drone Alliance – an industry group formed to support enterprise end users of drone technology – and global law firm Hogan Lovells are stepping up to help lawmakers and industry stakeholders better understand the topic. The two organizations are hosting the Domestic Drone Security Series to “facilitate an ongoing, open dialogue about the security issues facing the drone industry,” says a press release. The most recent event successfully brought a wide variety of high level stakeholders together to talk about integrating drones into the National Airspace System (NAS.)
“Participating organizations included the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and National Security Council (NSC), the National Aviation Intelligence Integration Office (NAI2O), DOD, DOJ, FBI, DHS, NASA, FAA, DOI, U.S. Congress, and more. Topics discussed included remote identification, cybersecurity, the UAS Integration Pilot Program, UAS threat mitigation, and views from states, localities, and Congress.”
The simple-not-easy idea of bringing everyone into the same room to better understand the most difficult issues surrounding drone integration is one that works. “The security issues around drones are a serious concern for the Federal government and bringing together all the relevant Federal security agencies to discuss these challenges with the commercial drone industry is an important step towards creating solutions to move this industry forward,” said Gretchen West, Co-Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance. “We were thrilled to host another unprecedented event on this topic and focus on all the pertinent issues. Our goal is to continue these conversations with more events and forums in the future and would encourage more of the commercial drone industry to engage in the dialogue so we can realize the potential that commercial drones have to offer numerous industries.”
The result of the most recent event was that holy grail in regulation: some level of agreement. “Broad consensus emerged among participating stakeholders that a simple, sustainable and scalable remote identification solution is critical to the success of the commercial drone industry,” said the Commercial Drone Alliance. “As policy moves forward, participants also discussed voluntary measures industry could act upon now to keep the skies safe and secure for commerce, hobbyists and the general public.”
“The success of the Drone Security Series speaks to the intense interest of the community in addressing security issues in a way that expands operations for these innovative and game-changing machines, while working in close coordination with public and national security agencies,” said Lisa Ellman, Co-Executive Director, Commercial Drone Alliance and Partner at Hogan Lovells law firm. “The caliber of our Summit participants – leaders in the commercial drone industry, government and national security communities – allows us to tackle challenging policy issues and move the conversation forward in constructive and actionable ways.”
“There’s broad consensus that it’s in society’s best interest for commercial drones to take off and thrive, so that the safety and economic benefits of this technology can be realized, and also so the U.S. can maintain its technological leadership,” said West. “The Domestic Drone Security Series connects stakeholders from across the spectrum to have an open, honest dialogue about what’s needed to get commercial drones integrated into the National Airspace System, and move these proposals forward.”
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.