Q What is the Commercial Drone Alliance?
GW After spending many years talking to the members of the unmanned systems community, I gained a sense of the gaps in representation, and this was most clear in the commercial drone industry. While many associations exist that do great work and represent various facets of the industry, the least well-represented are the commercial enterprise end-users — communities such as broadcasting, construction, inspection, mining, utilities, and more.
GW All of these industries have a desire to use drones commercially, but all are facing severe challenges to operate efficiently. I joined forces with Lisa Ellman, a partner at Hogan Lovells in D.C., who saw a lack of end-user voices in her work with the federal government. With our team at Hogan Lovells, we recognized the need to bridge the gap between policy, technology, and innovation and focus on representing commercial end-users. Together we launched the industry-led, nonprofit Commercial Drone Alliance, which is solely focused on representing commercial entities and reducing their barriers to entry and operation.