President Obama signs FAA bill into law; work on unmanned integration into airspace, GPS-based air traffic management to begin

ARLINGTON, Va., 14 Feb. 2012. President Obama has signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act 2012—with funding and provisions for granting military, commercial, and privately-owned unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) greater access to U.S. airspace and air traffic management systems modernization—into law.


The bill includes “important provisions on the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system,” according to an Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) spokesperson; in fact, public airspace in the U.S. is expected to open to unmanned drone flights within four years. The bill will also help speed the switch to an air traffic control system based on GPS (global positioning system) technology, rather than on radar.

The bill authorizes $63.4 billion in FAA funding over four years, of which roughly $11 billion will be employed in air traffic management (ATM) modernization. FAA staff has until June 2015 to develop new arrival procedures at 35 of the busiest U.S. airports. The NextGen system is expected to help the FAA accommodate projected growth in air traffic over the next decade.

The airline industry, including aircraft owners and airline operators, will be expected to install satellite technology onboard airplanes. The GPS-based technology will actively and accurately update aircraft location and enhance pilots’ situational awareness, such that they can see the location of both their own aircraft and of other planes equipped with the technology.

“In recognition of how fast UAS technology is advancing, in addition to the huge potential civil and commercial market, Congress included language requiring the FAA to expedite the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace. Congress set a deadline of 30 Sept. 2015 for full integration,” continues the AUVSI spokesperson.

“Technology is advancing to the point where we now know these systems can reliably fly. The next step is to work on the regulations that govern the rules of the sky to ensure that unmanned aircraft do no harm to other manned aircraft or to people or property on the ground,” explains Michael Toscano, AUVSI president and CEO.

According to AUVSI, major UAS provisions in the FAA bill include:

  • Setting a 30 Sept., 2015 deadline for full integration of UAS into the national airspace
  • Requiring a comprehensive integration plan within nine months
  • Requiring the FAA to create a five-year UAS roadmap (which should be updated annually)
  • Requiring small UAS (under 55 pounds) to be allowed to fly within 27 months
  • Requiring six UAS test sites within six months (similar to the language in the already-passed defense bill)
  • Requiring small UAS (under 55 pounds) be allowed to fly in the U.S. Arctic, 24 hours a day, beyond line-of-sight, at an altitude of at least 2,000 feet, within one year
  • Requiring expedited access for public users, such as law enforcement, firefighters, emergency responders
  • Allowing first responders to fly very small UAS (4.4 pounds or less) within 90 days if they meet certain requirements
  • Requiring the FAA to study UAS human factors and causes of accidents

Related Products

CHAMP-FX4 6U OpenVPX Virtex-7 FPGA Processor Card

The CHAMP-FX4 is the flagship 6U product in Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions’ family of...

PMC-E2001 Audio/Acoustic Waveform Generating PMC Card

PMC-E2001 Delta-sigma PMC features 16-bit resolution with 8 Analog Outputs and 4 Analog...

VPX3-453 3U VPX Virtex-6/8640D Digital Signal Processor

The Curtiss-Wright VPX3-453 is a high performance 3U VPX DSP and FPGA processor card th...

Related Companies

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a lon...

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading supplier...

General Micro Systems Inc

Since 1979, General Micro Systems has been providing the most diverse line of single-board comput...
Wire News provided by   

 

Press Releases

One Component, Snap Cure Epoxy Features High Strength Properties

Suitable for a variety of applications in the electronic, aerospace and OEM industries, Master Bond EP...

One Part Epoxy Resists up to 500°F and Meets NASA Low Outgassing Specifications

Master Bond Supreme 12AOHT-LO is a one component epoxy for a variety of bonding and sealing applicatio...

Low Viscosity, One Part Cyanoacrylate Is Non-Toxic and Meets ISO 10993-5 Specifications

Master Bond MB250NT is widely used for a variety of applications ranging from repair to high speed pro...

Thermally Conductive, Two Component Epoxy Passes USP Class VI Tests and ISO 10993-5 Specifications

With biocompatibility and cytotoxicity certifications, Master Bond EP21AOLV-2Med is often selected for...

CURTISS-WRIGHT CONGRATULATES NORTHROP GRUMMAN ON SUCCESSFUL FIRST FLIGHT OF SECOND MQ-4C TRITON UAS

Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s Defense Solutions division applauds Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: N...

Curtiss-Wright’s New Rugged Mobile IP Router Subsystem Features an Integrated Cisco® 5915 ESR Router

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division, a Cisco® Systems Solut...

VICTORY Shared Processing, Fire Control Computer, and Switch for Ground Vehicles Introduced by Curtiss-Wright

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced a new fu...

GE Announces First Sub-Credit Card-Sized Multi-Function High Definition (HD) Video Tracker

HUNTSVILLE, AL.— OCTOBER 13, 2014—GE’s Intelligent Platforms business today announced at AUSA (Octobe...

Most Popular Articles


All Access Sponsors


Follow Us On...


Our Tweets from AUVSI 2015