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Government-Industry Cooperation Critical to U.S. Drone Innovation, Says CTA

Arlington, VA, March 15, 2017  – March 15, 2017 – 
The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, regarding today’s Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Innovation, Integration, Successes, and Challenges:
“Innovations in drone technology are already changing our lives for the better – whether that’s delivering medical supplies during emergencies, surveying disaster sites to help rescuers reach those in need or making maintenance and repair of our nation’s critical infrastructure safer for workers. But to fully realize drones’ game-changing economic and personal value, we need a cohesive national policy that balances safety and innovation and generates timely rules for expanded operations – including those beyond visual line of sight, over people and at night.
“The ongoing dialogue within the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) – which benefits from the input of a wide variety of stakeholders, including CTA member companies – is especially critical. The DAC’s examination of the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local governments concerning drones is welcome and important, especially given the increase in local regulatory proposals and threat of misaligned and conflicting rules across the U.S.
“We thank Chairman Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Nelson (D-FL) for recognizing the enormous benefits drones will deliver to our lives and our economy. And we look forward to working with the entire committee to ensure the continued cooperation between the FAA and tech industry, a commitment to providing for key infrastructure and the prioritization of federal rules and enforcement.”
CTA expects total drone sales in the U.S. to reach new heights in 2017, topping 3.4 million units (a 40 percent year-over-year increase) and $1 billion in revenue for the first time (a 46 percent increase). Drones below 250 grams are expected to sell two million units, and drones above 250 grams will sell 1.3 million units.