FAA chief to impatient drone industry: “Sorry we’re so slow”
An olive branch to tech industry, FAA taps Intel CEO Brian Krzanich for new panel.
NEW ORLEANS—Former Cisco CEO John Chambers delivered a keynote on Tuesday at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL conference, slamming the Obama administration for moving too slowly on adjusting regulations governing commercial and private drones.
Chambers said that Obama doesn’t “get” drones and that the US is potentially being left behind in a market that he claimed could drive trillions of dollars in economic impact. His remarks drew loud applause from the audience of attendees—many of whom represented companies eager to cash in on drones as either vendors or customers.
Federal Aviation Administration administrator Michael Huerta responded on Wednesday with a talk about the FAA’s progress on drone regulations before the same audience that Huerta had previously called “a lion’s den” in his last appearance at AUVSI’s flagship conference four years ago. But, he joked, “We’re getting to know each other so well that UAS conventions are getting to be like family reunions.”
However, Huerta’s comments made it sound less like a family reunion and more like an intervention. The FAA chief gave a litany of reasons why his agency was moving so slowly and then tried to make the most out of what the agency had done. Then, in what almost seemed like a peace offering to Silicon Valley, Huerta announced the formation of an as-yet-to-be-named drone advisory committee to be chaired by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Aside from having connections to many companies in the drone industry, Krzanich is also a private pilot.
Huerta explained that the new committee, which will come under the auspices of the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), will first be tasked with establishing priorities. “We have a lot of big issues we have to deal with,” said Huerta. “Is bandwidth (for control) a bigger issue, or do we have more lead time for that versus technologies for detect and avoid, or how we protect core infrastructure?” Continue reading FAA chief to…