By Office of Congressman Rick Larsen | Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02), Chair of the House Aviation Subcommittee, Garret Graves (LA-06), the Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, and Sharice Davids (KS-03), the Subcommittee’s Vice Chair, introduced a bipartisan resolution designating the week of November 16 – 22, 2020, as National Drone Safety Awareness Week.
Founded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2019, National Drone Safety Awareness Week highlights the numerous benefits of drone use and stresses the need for a strong partnership between stakeholders and the federal government to ensure safe drone operation.
“Drones are flourishing in the skies at a pace not imagined years ago,” said Chair Larsen. “This innovative technology is helping people perform critical tasks more efficiently. Drones help first responders conduct search-and-rescue operations, doctors deliver life-saving medicines and medical supplies to patients, small businesses transport products to consumers and create U.S. jobs, and governments to survey natural disaster damage and inspect critical infrastructure. I will continue to champion efforts to ensure the safe and efficient integration of drones into U.S. airspace.”
“America’s aviation system is at the forefront of the next generation of technologies and capabilities, and the use of drones will keep advancing, innovating and supporting American jobs and improve our global competitiveness,” said Ranking Member Graves. “We are integrating drone technology expertise into local business projects, delivery of packages, coastal resiliency, disaster surveys, and even lifesaving search and rescues. Ensuring that these technologies are being used safely will strengthen America’s global leadership in the skies for generations to come.”
“Drones are an increasingly important part of our country’s aviation system, from performing essential tasks like disaster surveys to helping businesses deliver goods,” said Vice Chair Davids. “It’s critical that we continue to develop this new technology while ensuring its safety continues to be a top priority. I want to thank Chairman Larsen and Ranking Member Graves for their continued leadership on this issue.”
Larsen has long called for a robust federal framework to ensure the safe and efficient integration of drones into U.S. airspace. Last year, Larsen joined House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Office of Management and Budget expressing concerns with the delay in the FAA’s issuing of a rule requiring remote identification for drones. In 2018, Larsen co-led passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act, which included a robust title on drones to address the complexities of and concerns regarding drone integration into U.S. airspace.
The resolution is supported by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the Small UAV Coalition.
“As drones become a growing part of our economy and the way our world transports goods and performs services, safety must be the top priority,” said AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning. “We applaud Representative Larsen for helping raise public awareness of the critical safety elements, as well as the expansive potential, of this exciting technology by designating November 16-22, 2020, as ‘National Drone Safety Awareness Week.’”
“The Small UAV Coalition commends Representative Larsen on his resolution in support of the FAA’s Drone Safety Awareness Week,” said Greg Walden, on behalf of the Small UAV Coalition. “Drones are and will continue to improve our lives by serving as essential aviation technology for humanitarian and environmental projects and in creating efficiencies for commercial endeavors to enhance society. The Coalition strongly supports a pathway to ubiquitous use of drones while promoting a culture of safety and accountability for all operators.”
To read the National Drone Safety Awareness Week Resolution, click here.