AUVSI is the leading global organization representing the views of the unmanned systems and robotics community. AUVSI Cascade is the local Chapter of AUVSI Representing the states of Oregon and Washington.
On behalf of our membership we are committed to shaping regional policy by advocating on behalf of the unmanned systems and robotics community, monitoring legislation and assessing the global impact of the industry to ensure that obstacles to advancing and fielding unmanned systems and robotics are removed.
AUVSI speaks for the unmanned systems and robotics community as a trusted source of information to government officials, regulators, media and the public. We represent the industry in regional govermental hearings, participate in coalitions and collaborate with various trade associations and stakeholders to serve and achieve the interests of the unmanned systems and robotics community.
April 19, 2017
Oregon UAS Legislative Update
AUVSI Cascade Chapter continues to track legislation on UAS in both the Oregon and Washington legislatures. In Oregon, an amended version of HB 3049 was approved out of the House Judiciary Committee April 18th. As passed, this bill prohibits all drone operations that may harass, or otherwise annoy, an owner/occupant of property. Importantly, this bill takes no consideration of the nature of the operations – all that matters is that the property owner/occupant feels harassed or annoyed. Also, an amendment that would have exempted commercial operations authorized by the FAA was considered, but rejected.
Representative Huffman, the bill’s author and proponent, "promised" the committee that when the bill moves over to the Senate he will be offering an amendment that will permit certain commercial operations. According to him, the amendment isn’t quite ready for prime time. Specifically, Representative Huffman referred to the use cases of Amazon deliveries, AT&T transmission inspections, and public utilities as types of operations they would work on exempting. Unfortunately, he did indicate that blanket “commercial operations” would be too porous of an exception in his opinion. While it’s good that some deference is being shown to the industry, it is generally a recipe for bad law to only have specific use cases in mind when crafting legislation – particularly when dealing with a rapidly growing industry.
Please reach out to your contacts and impress upon them that there is a discussion occurring within the FAA leadership in supporting how local law enforcement can pursue drone operators who violate existing privacy laws and regulations. This is important as clearly we face the challenge that there is real concern coming from the communities about what is being done to prevent perceived harassing activities.
Please request that our legislators reach out to the FAA to use the support programs that they (FAA) have for drafting legislation. This will not only take advantage of the FAA's long-standing airspace management expertise, but it will also hold both the legislators and the FAA accountable for rule making consistency across our nation vice the alternative of a hodge-podge of local or regional rules.
The two documents, the links for which are below, are from the FAA and are designed to help law enforcement address UAS issues. Please encourage our legislators to pursue these education programs that give law enforcement the tools they need to address those activities potentially perceived as harassment. Our UAS community and our communities writ large will both benefit - all while making the lawmakers' jobs easier since they won't have to invent potentially bad solutions!
FAA UAS Guidelines
- Press Release - FAA Releases Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Roadmap
- Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap
- UAS Test Site Privacy Requirements
- UAS Comprehensive Plan
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Privacy Statement
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) increase human potential by doing dangerous or difficult tasks safely and efficiently. Whether it is improving agriculture practices and output, helping first responders, advancing scientific research, or making business more efficient, UAS are capable of saving time, saving money and most importantly, saving lives.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) supports the development and advancement of UAS technology in a safe and responsible manner, while respecting existing privacy laws and ensuring transparency and accountability. AUVSI does not support additional restrictive legislation that will prohibit, delay, or prevent the use of UAS by our public safety agencies and other end users. AUVSI recognizes this new industry is poised to create over 70,000 new jobs within the first three years of UAS being integrated into the National Airspace System in the United States; however, restrictive legislation will inhibit this new industry.
- Registration of unmanned aircraft and pilots with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
- Enforcement of established law and policy, governing the collection, use, storage, sharing and deletion of data, regardless of how it is collected.
- These policies should be available for public review.
- The policies should outline strict accountability for unauthorized use.
- AUVSI supports the International Association of Chiefs of Police recommended guidelines for UAS operations and their recommendations on data collection, which have been adopted by the Airborne Law Enforcement Association and others.
- UAS manufacturers shall not be held responsible for improper or illegal use of unmanned aircraft systems.
AUVSI does not condone the use of UAS to illegally spy on people. AUVSI fully supports the prosecution of individuals that violate privacy laws. AUVSI fully supports the 4th Amendment's requirement that a search warrant be obtained prior to the government invading an individual's privacy.
AUVSI is opposed to many of the bills that have been introduced in Congress and at state capitals around the country. These bills would fundamentally change current search warrant requirements, which the courts have ably shaped over the past 225 years. The issue should be focused on the extent to which the government can collect, use and store personal data – which is why transparency and accountability are key.
Instead of focusing on how the government collects information, AUVSI supports an open debate on the government's right to collect, use, store, share, and delete personal data. AUVSI believes information gathered by a UAS should be treated no differently than information gathered by a manned aircraft, or other electronic means.
In 2012, AUVSI recently released the industry's first Code of Conduct which is built around safety, professionalism and respect.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) – Jobs Engine & Economic Growth Fact Sheet
UAVs are a Key U.S. Emerging Industry
Commercial uses for UAVs are an emerging industry derived from defense applications. Staples of everyday life, including the internet, 4-wheel drive technology, GPS, microelectronics (enabling cell phones, laptops) and jet aircraft were created by the military, each evolving to explosive growth in the commercial sector. UAVs are experiencing the same dramatic evolution. The attached listing of UAV applications is driving economic growth – estimated to exceed $10 billion over the next decade – and driving a jobs engine, creating 1,400 new jobs in Oregon alone. Oregon is investing in the industry: OR InC has targeted $2.5 million for a UAV research center; more than 80 companies are making UAVs or their components; universities and colleges are conducting UAV research, UAV pilot training and UAV flights are now fully operational.
There is a concern that UAVs will be used for illegal purposes, invading the privacy of citizens with invasive and/or pervasive surveillance. The Congressional Research Service issued an excellent report on the subject: Integration of Drones Into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues (A.M. Dolan, R.M. Thompson II, January 30, 2013).
There exist several protections that apply to aerial surveillance – for piloted or unmanned vehicles. The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. This is regulated by law and the courts without the need for additional legislation.
The Federal Aviation Administration has jurisdiction of the national airspace. It regulates piloted and unmanned flights. The same rules that apply to helicopters fitted with cameras operate with UAVs. Additionally, the House of Representatives is developing legislation (H.R. 6676) to address invasive and pervasive surveillance to ensure that the integration of UAVs into the national airspace system is done in compliance with privacy principals. It will supersede states’ legislation and applies universally.
American Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
It is reasonable to expect that it is the behavior of the UAV owner/operator that should be regulated. However, to over-regulate this area of citizen interest prematurely could have a chilling effect on business decisions of innovators and drive this promising technology to other more accommodating states. AUVSI, the industry trade association and voice of the industry, is working to support the development of practical legislation and regulation, ensuring that UAVs are regulated in the same ways as piloted aircraft.