Press Release | October 25, 2017

White House Drone Pilot Program Helps State, Local Governments Work With FAA, Says CTA

Elliot Grimm
The following statement is attributed to Doug Johnson, vice president of technology policy, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), regarding President Trump's memorandum directing the Secretary of Transportation to pursue a unmanned aircraft systems pilot program to advance American innovation, jobs and growth in this emerging technology:

    "We thank President Trump and the Administration for recognizing the importance of a national policy environment for drones that supports safety and fosters innovation. Drone technology saves lives, transforms our transportation sector and helps drive our economy. This pilot program initiative is a smart way to engage local governments and community stakeholders, enable expanded and beneficial drone operations, and support a data-driven approach to future federal actions -all of which allow the U.S. to maximize drones' potential for job creation and economic benefits.

    "The FAA has absolute authority over our national airspace - a foundation of U.S. aviation law for more than 50 years, and the main reason for our country's exceptional air safety record. But the federal government cannot manage policymaking and enforcement by itself. In coordination with the FAA and recognizing the administration's ultimate authority, states and localities can help move the U.S. toward the safe integration of drones into our national airspace.

    "It's clear that public-private collaboration - federal, state, local and tribal governments and industry stakeholders working closely together - is critical to realizing the more than 100,000 jobs and $82 billion in economic impact drones can deliver over the next decade. We look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to advance and secure our nation's leadership in drone technology."

   According to CTA's most recent U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report, total drone sales in the U.S. will to reach 3.4 million units (up 40 percent from 2016) and $1.1 billion in revenue (up 44 percent) for the first time in 2017.

   CTA is a supporting member of the safety campaign Know Before You Fly, providing prospective drone operators with the information and guidance they need to fly safely and responsibly.