I am pleased to present the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Roadmap for Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS). The FAA and the UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) worked together for the past year to produce this roadmap. Unmanned aircraft offer new ways for commercial enterprises and public operators to increase operational efficiency, decrease costs, and enhance safety; and this roadmap will allow us to safely and efficiently integrate them into the NAS.
The FAA is committed to the safe and efficient integration of UAS into the NAS. However, as safety is our top priority, UAS integration must be accomplished without reducing existing capacity, decreasing safety, impacting current operators, or placing other airspace users or persons and property on the ground at increased risk. We have made great progress in accommodating public UAS operations, but challenges remain for the safe, long-term integration of both public and civil UAS in the NAS.
This roadmap outlines the actions and considerations needed to enable UAS integration into the NAS. The roadmap also aligns proposed FAA actions with Congressional mandates from the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. This plan also provides goals, metrics, and target dates for the FAA and its government and industry partners to use in planning key activities for UAS integration.
We will update the specific implementation details (goals, metrics, target dates) as we learn from our current UAS operations, leverage ongoing research, and incorporate the work of our government and industry partners in all related areas.
Thank you for your continued support and active participation in the safe and efficient integration of UAS in the NAS.
Michael P. Huerta
November 7, 2013