When Jim Williams accepted an invitation to speak at the Delta AgTech Symposium, he expected to get some tough questions about why the FAA wasn’t moving faster to finalize the rules of operating unmanned aerial systems or UAS.
Williams, manager of Unmanned Aerial System Integration for the FAA, got those, but he offered a spirited explanation of why it's taking the agency much longer than UAV enthusiasts want to see to implement new rules that will allow commercial uses for the systems.
“Congress directed us to do a lot of work, but they did not exempt us from any of the procedures that they put in place that govern the rulemaking process," he said. "I can talk about the bureacuracy in Washington and what all we're having to do, but that just sounds like making excuses. The bottom line is since I’ve come on board we’ve made it a priority for the agency, and we’re moving faster than we ever have.”
Williams talked about steps the FAA is taking to keep development of UAV moving while it works through the task of addressing the safety and privacy issues Congress has tasked it with including in the new rules in a presentation at the Delta AgTech Symposium at the Memphis, Tenn., Agricenter.
To see more about the roadmap the FAA is using to meet the mandate in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, visit this pdf.