FAA Administrator Michael Huerta opened the Symposium by discussing, in part, the agency’s three main goals with respect to UAS integration: (1) safely enabling UAS operations in the National Airspace System (“NAS”); (2) facilitating the integration of future technological advancements; and (3) ensuring that the United States retains a leadership role with respect to the development and operation of UAS. Importantly, he also mentioned that the new small UAS rules may be available by the end of “spring”.

Subsequent panels discussed airspace management, aircraft certification, and technological challenges.

The FAA has also published Michael Huerta’s remarks ‘as Prepared for Delivery’:

Back in the 1960s, the nation’s collective imagination was captivated by President Kennedy’s challenge to send a man to the moon. Many of the brightest kids coming out of college shot for jobs at NASA. Today, many of those minds are captivated by the limitless possibilities that the drone industry offers, and they are shooting for jobs in this exciting new field. Like the space exploration of the 1960s, the work we are doing today is transforming aviation – and society – in very profound ways.

A very solid speech, well worth a read. I picked a little piece – good idea tying drones to moon shots. Further to go perhaps but there is a much greater dividend to be had. Well done.
Here is an interesting follow-up report from the event written by Jim Williams for Dentons with a list of speakers and topics.

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