The FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) has been instrumental in helping to form commercial drone regulations, and the best example in the drone sector of industry working in collaboration with government. On Friday, the FAA and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that PrecisionHawk CEO Michael Chasen will now lead the group.
At it’s founding, the DAC was headed by Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. Krzanich resigned his post at Intel last year amidst personal controversy.
Chasen has become a familiar figure in the drone industry since taking the helm at PrecisionHawk at the beginning of 2017. A serial entrepreneur and veteran technology leader has successfully shifted PrecisionHawk‘s focus to software, completed a stunning $75 million funding round, and acquired technology partners and service providers at a rapid rate. They’ve also partnered with the largest drone manufacturer in the world, DJI, to provide their Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety (LATAS) platform.
PrecisionHawk is no stranger to the regulatory stage. Diana Cooper, PrecisionHawk’s Senior VP of Policy and Strategy, has been a major contributor to the development of drone policy, serving on multiple government panels. With PrecisionHawk’s major stake in the professional drone sector and representing thousands of drone operators through its acquisition of drone pilot networks, Chasen will continue to represent commercial drone interests for the DAC.
In addition to Chasen’s appointment, Chao announced 12 new members for the committee, including representatives of commercial airlines, law enforcement, and the drone industry.
The following is an FAA press release.
The DAC is a broad-based, long-term federal advisory committee that provides the FAA advice on key unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements. The committee helps to create broad support for an overall integration strategy and vision.
Members of the DAC are executives who represent a variety of UAS interests, including industry, research, academia, retail, technology and state and local government. Secretary Chao named Michael Chasen, chief executive officer for PrecisionHawk USA Inc., as chair of the DAC.
“Innovation is one of Secretary Chao’s top priorities for the Department of Transportation. Michael and the DAC will help guide the FAA to build flexible, responsive regulatory processes that can keep up with the industry’s creativity while ensuring the highest level of safety,” said FAA Acting Administrator Daniel K. Elwell.
The DAC is chartered to have up to 35 members and today’s announcement will fill 12 vacancies. The new members in addition to Michael Chasen are listed below:
- Thomas Karol, General Counsel, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
- David Silver, Vice President for Civil Aviation, Aerospace Industries Association
- Joseph DePete, President, Air Line Pilots Association
- Bob Brock, Director of Aviation and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Kansas Department of Transportation
- Mark Colborn, Senior Corporal, Dallas Police Department
- Michael Leo, Captain, New York City Fire Department
- Steve Ucci, Senior Deputy Majority Leader, Rhode Island State Assembly
- Mariah Scott, President, Skyward
- Lorne Cass, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, American Airlines
- Michael Sinnett, Vice President, Product Development and Strategy, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
- Chris Anderson, Chief Executive officer, 3DR
- Peter Cleveland, Vice President of Law and Policy group, Intel Corporation
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.
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