ARSA on U.S. UAS rules: don’t bite off more than you can chew
Washington, D.C. - On April 23, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) submitted comments to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed rule regarding of its control of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The association added its voice to the thousands who provided guidance to the agency in its pursuit of new regulations to oversee the use of the vehicles commonly referred to as “drones.”
While its comments recognized the congressional imperative that the FAA “integrate” UAS into American air space, ARSA expressed concern about the agency’s ability to manage the additional substantive regulatory burden. As guidance for the creation of a final rule, the association encouraged regulators to adhere to three basic principles: properly manage governmental resources, minimize impact on small businesses and refrain from micromanaging the aviation market.
“In regulating [small UAS] and, eventually, all UAS operations, the FAA cannot afford to divert attention from its existing oversight responsibilities,” the association’s submission said. “Additionally, the agency must limit burden on small businesses and prevent obstruction of the fast-moving market for emerging unmanned technologies.”
As lawmakers on Capitol Hill turn their attention to the FAA’s next authorization– the current FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 expires this Fall – ARSA’s comments are part of a broad effort to remind aviation system stakeholders of the many demands placed on the agency. Failing to provide regulators with sufficient resources, particularly while mandating increased oversight, results in administrative delays and ultimately undermines the U.S. aviation industry’s competitiveness.
“Both the aviation community and the flying public depend on the agency to smoothly and efficiently uphold its end of the regulatory bargain,” said Brett Levanto, ARSA’s director of operations. “The emergence of unmanned systems is exciting for the market but shouldn’t become a drag on the businesses already in place because regulators have to funnel their focus away from existing essential responsibilities.”