tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 8, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
commercial operator indicates those operations go well beyond to nativity dave could be balloons powerball rockets is only helpful if they take the time to analyze and categorize. we are committed to a partnership for consumers from safety and while the faa needs to do a better job to present the data they may have recommendations to ensure the safety of the airspace. they can increase safety to finalize and implement the rules as they are currently written for everyone who wants to fly to participate in a community-based organization or follow new rules for commercial purposes it will help
provide oversight for the operators. at the same time the faa should step up enforcement to pursue that actors those against careless and reckless operations in those jurisdictions that have criminal laws in place. promoting safety through education is the step we can all take. knowing where they were not to fly. and may not be aware of the safety considerations during the last holiday season there will be around with the communities and the
approach will address that the campaign puts information in the hands of the newcomers including the air line pilots association to the credit those companies that produce uas had implemented technologies that address some of the concerns. while technology can be a useful tool is no substitute for education. there is a responsibility for safety in the hands of the pilot in the person operating the aircraft for i will answer any questions you may have. >> members of the subcommittee have a professor at stanford
university third-generation pilot. my research over 10 years as statistical rest and development of technology for aviation safety. into be the most exciting recent development in the field of aeronautics the proliferation makes it accessible inspiring a generation of students and away we have not seen for a long time and also raises concern about safety had rigo about measuring in analyzing these risks? it is a chair by the likelihood and the severity. that one of the most severe households -- it was the
sufficiently large drone to cause similar damage to cite those drones with the weight i am not aware of any testing of the phantom but it is conceivable to cause some degree of damage but probably not of the severity that would have occurred what is the likelihood of a mid-air collision? in order for that to occur the drone passed to be at the same altitude and geographic location and analysis of data shows there are large areas of the country where the risk of encountering and other aircraft is negligible the there are portions of the airspace headed it is more
significant altitude limits can be implemented perugia fencing is more difficult relies on the of today database but could be reduced with such technology i allies to use at altitudes of those above 400 feet so that safety features fairly negligible most drones capable of flying above 403 have the altimeter. to see how high the drum can go it doesn't prevent interference but it will help discourage reckless users. but the conscientious user
from overriding be altered to the mitt is problematic to the exact approach is still being fought through by industry but the offense is a near-term mitigation richard the some kind of beverage structure is needed the commercial draws into the airspace. to pursue the development of flying in the same airspace it is necessary to prevent a collision those for a large round and a technology for small ladrones in conclusion the growing popularity of commercially available drones is a risk that should
not be ignored education should play a major role inefficient technologies can be implemented it is in the interest of the drone in this - - industry of the nation to support the research needed to ensure aviation safety. thank you for the opportunity. >> looking at uas long full flights is there something we should do? >> we're looking with other agencies but one of the challenges is locating the
uas operators if you would get the pilot reports they tell us where that uas is not the operator if you can track that with laser strikes the pilot knows exactly where the strike is coming from. the hour challenge is to locate the operators in the first place that is where our emphasis is on education >> according to news reports government agencies and private companies have acquired and deployed detection systems that utilize some combination of radiofrequency and thermal detection back immediately locate the u.s. is the faa considering similar detection technology is as
part of the agency's efforts to mitigate the risks between u.s. and the unmanned aircraft? >> we introduced a new research partnership that deploys the technology at airports to allow you to a survey the area and detect radio signals so that is going into testing the we're looking for to detect the drones. >> so you will assess the to the testing programs to determine how you perceive from their? directly well get that technology as well as others to develop their own approach that have a security issue as well. >> so the pilot programs
>> we have a number of initiatives private industry has put forth including informational paperwork in the packaging itself the secretary has said he thinks registration may be one of the answers to the problem and we are evaluating that as an option for all uas. >> in conjunction even if you buy a toaster your register online for warranty purposes that would be shared with an agency it is coming out of private industry we would not be set up to take this registration
data to make it accessible to be used for law enforcement purposes. >> the example is they are of big driver of a tourism economy with the marine mammal protection act for violating this forgetting to close to the orthopods which then puts the aerial photography applaud his website to advertise himself to basically show everyone how he violated the terms of then there is a fine for that does that run across your desk id accord with
agencies. >> we have a large number of ways we coordinate under the dod authorization that includes vhs, faa and nasa with interagency group that meets quarterly we have a facility we run at headquarters 24/7 monitoring and we coordinate with law-enforcement agencies through that and vhs has taken a lead on security issues with airport environments and we participate in that so we have the interagency coordination. >> mr. hanson, the district
nine vp is the president of the folks there in they have attended a few town halls i'd like to commend you and your grass roots organizing. from the perspective locally , how do members look at uas purchases to use that as a database for enforcement in the event of a violation potentially? >> our members understand there is the large platform to be called a drought for
golf that is what we were in venda toy category with the short life span limited availability as long as we identified that proper threshold they are accepted of that it is important to a similar process is so we hope somebody will return it to us that to help a owner operator. >> and i was no team yesterday crabbing is big in washington state you have to put your name and address on your equipment in case it
gets loose or someone steals it but you have to do this to be held accountable is that same kind of deal. >> drones could monitor the crab pots. [laughter] >> that is next. >> the university of alaska fairbanks when a the designated area test site but the frustration is the certification process does the faa do anything to shorten the process? but take so long time. >> we're taking several steps to issue it a blanket
authorization and we recently last month increase that have 400 feet the streamlined that paperwork process there may be some exemption requirements that we do a safety analysis but it should be more streamlined. >> now it will take one year or two years and we need to solve that problem. >> the applications have been eliminated to be measured in. >> what type of equipment for collision avoidance? if you have to look for the drone but you have to identify the object in front of you more than i cite?
>> it is very difficult. >> and to highlight other aircraft for summer league quipped if it does not have a transponder it will not show up in the cockpit. >> how did you get into such a good position? how did you achieve that? to make this drives going forward? >> the significant differentiation is the approach that we take that
traditionally because of the interest of the aviation and operate their aircraft they are attracted more private a technology and functionality and in some cases it isn't different from the smart phone looking at as an extension of your camera we have a different mind-set but in our opinion it does the process that the american citizens will do that but until we can say the consumer has that in hand the deliberate act of the others.
>> you are an expert will happen if we require the manufacturers if they got within so many feet of an airport? that is what we are here for the danger to the airplane. could it the technology? most are battery operated they do not run on fossil fuels period the majority of the 700,000 are battery powered. >>. >> i was driving my golf cart like head technology be applied?
>> that is what they are aiming at the you don't want that to die completely. >> if you lose your drone you will not do that again. >> but if i may say you help us to write the legislation because when we write legislation 99% of the time it is screwed up they do understand to get the input from the airline and the faa and those who have knowledge of how it works we have to use your input i say this from experience of 44 years it doesn't work and the regulations come in and we're all screwed up i just want to use your expertise to solve this problem. i yield back.
>> lamp please to read that faa is going ahead there were going to test their technology to pinpoint the operator. they can do numerous things they can force the drone to land to go back to the operator or to deliver something to the operator. so the question would be how quickly will we move ahead? i am very disturbed at the 24 incursions' how many of those people were prosecuted or identified? >> i don't have statistics how many but it is very difficult to track them down based on operations. >> right.
what about registration? you said you couldn't handle the volume? you're talking about the online data base. >> how that would be used in the logistics' what is the best tool whether it is a point of sale so digging into those technicalities. >> i hope that doesn't take too long would like to know that peeping tom but we will never know. to have safe sites around airports i have been through
almost 29 years to talk about the tombstone mentality in i am very concerned what this means for civil aviation in this country and beyond that i am concerned it will bring to a halt the commercial development of drones they are operating irresponsibly this industry will grind to a halt to you have anything you want to read? so with those little piston engines that to the work very well. with all whole new
generation of people that sulfone edit it doesn't go together now getting their hands on the drones. >> i agree to differentiate the point of his members that were responsible operators and those not part of his community they do have batteries their heavy metal pieces that will wreak havoc on aircraft when it hits there will be a significant event. is a diffident whether the windscreen or the internet will be significant for the flight crew and will be challenging to save the aircraft. >> okay. anybody want to comment? to make it is not my intent to scare anybody but it will be a significant event civic
you cannot particular point to say that is the sole cause we look at the risk that we deal with in commercial aviation to a sign risk weather, traffic, a communication and cybersecurity real look under every single element this is another element should happen that it's time already dealing with a malfunction and then we hit the drone? always the neck critical phase of flight that is the highest risk of an accident. >> you cannot point to a single solution has to be layered.
>>. >> ag for holding this hearing. what is today's date? >> the october 7, 2015. the legislation that we passed in 2012 the modernization reform act had a directive to do the faa and what deadline didn't set -- did it set for you to finish the work that was assigned? >> september 2015. >> so you are behind schedule obviously. if you review the record when repast this in in 2012
that by next year 2013 you had completed the plan that was required under the law you didn't propose the rule until january 20 of this year. the rule came out in february now we're just into october's you have had eight months and now you say, does the rule just deal with the small aircraft? >> everything under
55 pounds. >> we allow that differentiation between small and large. at lease the testimony can you be more specific? to read that comment period was open through april with over 4500 comments. >> is to get the rule out with the review process the last five we discussed this week agreed on the date of june, the first half of next year. >> development of large integration will depend on commercial demand and that
will probably. this the schedule is a very serious accident and i can predict that it is almost inevitable to have major road hit and aircraft there will probably be injuries and hopefully not fatalities. these drones are up at 55 pounds leggett said testing center dave broder of 40 lb frozen turkey i saw what that did i don't need
another test to show but it probably will have been. how many incidents? is it 200 or 400? >> we don't keep the records >> faa do you know, ? decorate -- react 25 per month. >> now 20 enforcement actions? >> civil penalties. >> with your plan and i have not reviewed them but you have a provision hundreds of thousands of days are being sold that says you cannot
fly this that is not required on the sale of the unit. is headed your proposal? can you do that or should we do that by law? just letting people know with a purchase one of these is important. >> we're working with manufacturers. >> did your proposed rule? to make it deals with commercial operations in the amateur operators and the increasing never do that now to have a rule mandated. >> thank you. i yield back. >>. >> my first question is for mr. hanson regarding data
have a defying definition or a definitive definition with the and the aircraft so realistically to the language itself to pull out the ones that report the siding - - and the siding is a -- deciding to take evasive action many could not even be termed a year encounter of any kind it was even identified to be an aircraft. >> you have been a definition of near miss that should be standardized? >> you will have to do some analysis of the environment the captive inside ted very
slow moving objects that wins seen from the cockpit it is difficult to have a relative value of sizers speed or intentions so in terms of what would constitute a your missive is probably from the perspective of the pot - - pilot into appropriately take action that there isn't an airspace conflict. >> i agree we need to have good data on which to do that. i represent one of a most forested district in the country with though terrific wildfires we try to do something set is different
from suppression so what about fire prevention in a healthy forest? >> bay are useful and what we're dealing with in the land. that overflight to give a good assessment without that expense of the ground is very helpful. >> back to suppression, how you intend to use uas in fire suppression in efforts? >> to keep track of what is going on with the cruz of the ground how the big fire is behaving to make sure nobody is in harm's way it have the right kind of communication in case they
need to move quickly. >> we had a tragic situation where our firefighting crew did not know the direction of the fire and it changed dramatically. wood said 29 be helpful to prevent that tragedy? >> that is difficult for our would have liked to had it available. >> i yield back. >> you were talking about the need to register drones is that all of them or is there a size limits or a cutoff point war is won a toy that you don't have to give your identity to the
federal government? >> to analyze the capabilities of the vehicle of the altitude range and speed to see if they could end up in aerospace. >> i could go on to amazon this is the best selling they have $45.90 i could have it by friday i and the amazon prime member by friday for free shipping is 1 pound with a range of 50 meters that is 165 b. shirley you're not saying this should be registered. >> but up at 1500 feet, yes of - - yes, sir. >> i am not sure if that rage is lateral or transmitter or physical
capability orphic continues to climb. >> i have spoken in tucson in the industry that have expressed an interest to work with you. is there any way a manufacturer could get a list of restricted airspace? >> it is all publicly available and pushed out from ed a son manufacturers have started to include that in their products. >> so there is a standardized data based updated regularly? in those to give interim
updates. >> you could get that computerized to keep the database of registered owners that seems pretty simple of name in address i could probably coated that before we finish lunch. >> then we need to verify that is the person who actually registers that. >>. >> is there a way to integrate into the air traffic control system by putting a transponder or air traffic controller? it seems like they could get that on the chip so with him richer use space to keep --
keep them out of airports by the there is the question with a radio signal to attract them otherwise anything that operates in a controlled airspace would be after 2020 but that is to have that integration from new york. >> talk about the recreational users to stick a go. or a camera on the drone then upload that and then where do you cross the line into commercial use? >> i think it is a pretty
common use of recreational drones commercial is it your paid to operate or is part of your business model. >> i could see potential gray areas and with the shot at a lemonade stand you cross that line. with those recreational users better being reckless but then to find the right balance between but not over regulating but i see my time is expired.
>> given my congressional district the sheriff's department is the only public agency that uses uas besides the navy. the shares are part has received a certificate but for search and rescue every time the shares of is operates and also a to file a notice they take this out of the abundance of caution is that what they would consider in terms of their
we have clear the backlog but they're coming in at a pretty big flip. >> you know, how many uas are operated begins commercial applications? >> with the indications with the of clamps the numbers are too big tear track. >> with the uas over 500 feet. >>. >> can you give me a sense how many you are involved in with the special contract for specific use? >> we tried to recruit them as much as possible with
literally thousands these vehicles are here now. >> so the civil penalties? >> several hundred investigations under the compliance policy and there are cases that require a. >> where the civil penalties? >> the base line is $25,000 in the case of the penalty over a heavily populated area. does the faa have any specific recommendations to
improve the enforcement authority for civil penalties? >> we are a buy rating other agencies of the 250,000 on the criminal side that level is evaluated interagency the most bang for the book comes to education on the enforcement side there is a challenge of the operators. >> with that education peace is there a legal barrier to prevent the faa to require manufacturers to include the safety information on packaging? >> we are prohibited for regulating for recreational
use for it is possible we could do a rule making around that but the time frame it isn't a viable tool so we are focused on voluntary compliance. >> as the pilot represents the airforce base i suggest there is more unanimity among you that i have seen in a long time. we are one severe accident away over a public human cry why haven't we done something. . .
they don't survive well. they are small. and i would say, it gives the assumption that people have perfect information, that people call, investigate, do their homework. and i know as a pilot, people do not. i want to ask, it is my kind of unconsidered opinion that these things do not belong near airports. and to that end -- and what kind of -- and you talked a lot about this in your statement.
what kind of training do you think is appropriate for the people that are flying these larger ones or anyone, if you will, that you would like to see? >> well, the vehicle intended to be operated in shared airspace than i think the standard is very close to established if not already established. it exists for us as a pilot to complete our training, recurrent training, and maintain qualifications. if the vehicle is not intended to operate in the airspace is a matter of putting proper mitigation to keep it off. and that is the importance of the educational campaign that we all agree on a peer. one element of the educational campaign is, we should consider testing were someone goes online,, recent
material, and takes a little test that satisfies the parents that the child knows how to operate the material -- operate the vehicle. >> pick a different tune take a different airspace, do you accept what he said? that you don't -- you should be -- you should have commercial training or training as if aa pilot to fly and airspace that may have the ground levels? >> ii think we take a little different approach to it. we consider all airspace shared airspace. there is always the possibility of encountering amend airspace.
>> we talk about flying in closer proximity to an airport. the primary tenants is not. we have a document the talks about how model aircraft should see and avoid command to the credit there have not been significant conflict. >> why is it important that you operate in the same airspace that would be an airport? what drives you to think that? i am not saying you don't have a right to. >> it goes to the point that not all airports are created equal. we have some and communities where they are welcome to operate. we have clubs that are co- located. >> i have seen many. >> and they have coordinating procedures that allow them to operate.
>> i. >> i would suggest there are places where you would say you shouldn't be maybe in c and b space to the ground and places where you could, just general space and i grass strip in the middle of cooperstown, new york. >> there is no doubt, there are locations where these types of devices should not be flown. it is not as easy and answer >> i guess what i am suggesting is, you have a lot in common here. rather than fight for something unreasonable you may want to think about what is important to the people who operate these things for agriculture and recreation at the types of reports that you just described. thank you. my time is expired. >> to the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member, thank you for the hearing. mr. larson, you opened the issue of registration.
you mentioned picking up his smart phone at amazon. is registered. and most everything you buy today is registered, at least back to the manufacturer in some way or another. it seemsit seems to me we do not need a government registration program, but we need the government to be able to access the program that the manufacturers probably already have.have. we could spend several years trying to write regulation to accomplish that, which is probably what we will do because it is our specialty. why don't we simply say, all of these you a esses must be registered, held by the manufacturer or the seller of that and the government has the ability to access that under circumstances relating to an accident or some other incident? fairly simple,simple, but probably far too simple for
her normal work around here. if you are flying this uas near significant airport there are some of airport your subject to a fine or jail time. and if you're flying near an active fire your subject to a fine and jail fine. that would immediately educate everyone involved in this sport or commercial activity. the the other way around the study, study, study for those who don't want any interference by anybody. anyway, i propose legislation introduced now today the simply says, if
you are flying a uas within 2 miles of a significant airport, you are breaking the law and are subject to one year in jail and a significant fine. if you are find your an active fire, you are breaking the law and are subject to one year in jail. now, that is a pretty clear message. so, what do you think of that since you tends to fight fires? >> i thinki think we need some help of some kind because but we are fighting fire we are at very low altitude and in very complex situations with a lot of distraction, not the least of which is smoke. so, the sense is very difficult.difficult. if the technology is not there for the sense and avoid, we have to turn to the education a regulation.
>> captain. >> yes, sir. >> i love the see it. i can't wait to read it because i think it is a step in the right direction. with the limitation of 2 miles assuming the threshold is a mile from that point the vehicles could be well above me. from the end of the runway. it should be larger, especially if you look at class b airspace around atlanta all miami dropping down to the surface. we don't want anyone operating officer for said all in less they are talking to air traffic control and being controlled by air-traffic control. >> how about our little hobbyist? >> it has been a long time since i have been called little.
the devil, i think, is always in the details. >> very good machines. >> the devil is always in the details. at some airports 2 miles might not be far enough, others it may be adequate or even too far. i mean, if you are a homeowner within that distance and wish to buy your grandson one of these toys that can be flown in the backyard, i would hate to see him subject to a one-year jail penalty for flying it in his backyard. i would be interested in seeing the language of the proposed bill and having an opportunity to comment on it. >> i will see that you have it in a few moments. we get tied up in details here. in the meantime, a time will pass, and the accident is going to happen. the incident is going to happen. not sure that it is an accident,accident, but
the incident will happen. in california we have had numerous fires and we are now facing a situation where those fires have expanded as a result of drones shutting down the aerial operations, operations, and we have also had more than enough incidents in the airspace around airports as was testified to. so it is time for a simply to lay down a marker here and say, if you are operating a you a as in these spaces, you are violating the law and are subject to a severe penalty. now, that is the kind of education program that someone might pay attention to. and to your grandchildren happen to be near that runway and are flying in they are little you a s that you kindly bought them, that is somehow interfering with the approach of the captain into atlanta airport, i'm
sorry, but the kid is breaking the law and as a responsible adult you should also be held accountable. because we are talking about serious, very serious potential problems. i yield back my time and i will deliver a copy of the legislation to you. >> mr. whitaker,mr. whitaker,mrr , it seems to me that folks in general aviation could work closely with drone operators and owners to help educate and train all these roles that are forthcoming in different, best practices for operation. reaching out to associations >> this question of airspace and how us to find.
are you considering modifying not at all or will you be strict on the day operations? i could see in a farm field where these machines been used on the clock. as soon as we can find ways to do that safely that something would like to allow. >> how do your members no, we talk about these near miss sightings and reports, how do you know is what they saw versus balloon that i can't let go a while ago, which i see in my aircraft from time to time. safely, of course, or even a ufo, anywhere from 11 to 3:00 a.m. how do we know we saw you a s, and what specifically is done to verify?
>> there are a redundant set of eyes in the cockpit and hopefully both pilots can later eyes on the cockpit. >> not always. there are small vehicles. >> it's hard to see these things. you were picked on having 20 civil penalty cases. he cannot verify that these were even uas to begin with. you have to rely on the pilot opinion of what he saw. we do see a lot of balloons. it's not like we should accept the premise that all of these are near mrs.
>> there are quite a few more. with the proliferation of the expansion, million more, even if a small percentage were us -- uas, we have a problem. >> that may be. there are millions of birds, too. >> that reminds me, you talk about canadian geese being so much heavier. the assumption in your testimony is that birds are still certainly or potentially more dangerous. the captain says, well, there are metal batteries in these things. can you elaborate on your testimony? >> definitely. it depends entirely upon the platform. there is one that came out last week that can sit on your fingertips and weigh the same as three pennies. therepennies. there are others like the phantom that is a 3rd the weight of the canada goose.
there are others that have a 10-foot wingspan and weigh 30 pounds. so it really depends. >> you cannot quantify it. >> and the time i have remainingi have remaining i want to go into the commercial licensing structure. your organization is recommending a commercial pilots license. the flight characteristics of these drones, the stall characteristics are completely different. i have a commercial license. i do not understand why we need a commercial license. i am wanting to assume it is simply because you are worried about job protection, one day these operators might or unmanned vehicles might take away a pilots job. >> that is not the concern with the commercial operations. operations for renumeration all modes of transportation be a taxicab, airplane, seagoing vessel all require commercial operations.
>> because it is revenue generated. >> you are worried about the revenue-generating impact, not necessarily the safety. >> a higher expectation of safety. >> my time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i'm not i'm not going to say anything you don't already know. let's be perfectly honest. i just got off the plane. i guarantee you everyone you represent will get sued. if you put me on a jury on a case like that, you will all lose. we can do something. it might not be perfect. i am sure it is not. but doing nothing in the face of clear danger is not an excuse to be perfectly honest. getting it right over time, fine, but we should be doing stuff. i own two drones about big
ones. i don't know what i'm doing with them either. i stink at it which, of course, is a danger. i don't know about the 2-mile limit on the airport. i live within 2 miles. i don't know. i would not intentionally trytried to bring down the plane. christmas presents, christmas days. at drone you could get out of brookstone, nothing special. this is crazy. we can do it to automobiles. we can do it in my phone. if i drop this phone today, right now some smart 15-year-old technology kids to figure out where i bought it, who it belongs to, where i was yesterday, who are called. yet if yesterday, who are called. yet if it happens to a drone, nobody knows. ii saw something. i don't know what it was. come on. you can put technology on it , even something as small
as your finger. i can find people who can do it, nevermind the regulations. i am all for those. not a problem. i am am not trying to shut down the technology at all. it is opening up a wonderful new frontier for hobbyists and professionals on all levels. but it also presents a danger which should not be accepted. just because it is difficult does not mean that we should not do something. so i don't really have any questions because i no that you can do it. i just see a reluctance, especially reluctance, especially from the faa, and i do not understand it. do something before somebody loses their life on this. i don't want to be here yelling at you. that is no fun. and i certainly don't want to be a let you -- the
yelling at you over someone i know and love are someone you know what love. this is crazy. just get it done. it done. i understand it will not be the last item and it is an evolving thing. coming up with smaller things and bigger uses.uses. i'm not so sure about the 2-mile radius. i also know that there are some places beyond 2 miles bird does. i am not sure what the answer is. you know it. i am not trying to involve myself will prohibit hobbyists from doing anything reasonable or thoughtful. 99 percent of the people using these things are well intended. automobiles on 15 different places. accidents happen. bad people out there doing bad things, we havethings, we have not done anything i know of to allow us to find them. someone intentionally goes out to logan airport and flies a drone intentionally into a plane to kill somebody comeau we have allow the technology to not
exists. to be able to find that perpetrators are you can have the criminal prosecutions in the world. world. if you can't find them it's not going to help. you can find my phone, my automobile. probably my underwear. i don't know. wewe cannot find a drone owners because we have not required a simple item to be installed. if you want to do size, do size. by the way, and loganway, and logan we get a lot of geese. you cannot control them. but we chase them around. they have a great time. we do something. maybemaybe they are better ways to do it, but we do something, always better than nothing in the face of a known danger. i was not going to say anything you do not already know. >> thank you, mr. chairman, doctor k, let me go to you
in your opening testimony you talked about midair collisions and how the magnitude would be more significant in certain areas and negligible and others. can you elaborate a little bit more on that? you would assume most of it would be safe,safe, but there are a number of small airstrips coming grass strips, etc. >> so when i was at lincoln laboratory we got a stream of data from all of the faa radar and estimated the density across the united states. there are a lot of areas where we just did not see anything in nine months. >> so could we put forth certain counties where we have zone free drone three
zones or drone permissible, are there certain counties across the country where there is relatively little, if no chance of having interaction with aircraft? >> i guess that could be -- >> that is a loaded question,a loaded question, but go ahead. >> it's been so much upon altitude. so that has to be part of the figure. even over rural north dakota or whatever, you should not be at 20,000 feet. >> let me go further than. how would you classify near miss? >> i did a lot of collision risk estimation. itit is a collision
avoidance system for manned aircraft. and as part of the analysis we use the definition of 500 fed 100 feet vertically. that is wherethat is where manned aircraft. there is nothing magical about this definition. >> captain, would you agree with that definition? >> currently there exists a criteria for near miss. >> talking about his definition, would that be satisfactory? >> i do not believe so because it does not reside anywhere near what we would need to avoid the collision. >> can you get to the chairman what you would estimate a near miss would be? >> i am not sure we are equipped to do that analysis, sir. >> can you query your pilots and asked them to opine on it?
>> we can ask them. >> let me go really quickly and finish out mr. whitaker. some have suggested your rule-making has not been expeditious. and i believe in your earlier testimony here you were talking about doing rule-making for commercial drones butbut i guess you said the commercial viability and economic viability increases. did i hear you correctly on that? >> i think the question was around large. >> there is a certain mentality. your testimony is, if you build it they will regulated >> are trying to move in lockstep. >> let me suggest that you are more forward thinking in terms of regulations. the ambiguity creates the
kind of dynamics we have here today both on the commercial and on the side of things. the more finite that you can be the better the commercial activity will be in terms of meeting your expectation if we wait until -- to draw the regulations, until we have problems as we were trying to do today. it creates much uncertainty in the market. wouldn't you agree? >> yes, sir. >> how do we best, and allow us. lose out to the drone technology in europe, other testimony would suggest that. how do we make sure that you are nimble and do that effectively? and i am out of time, so i will yield back.
>> the gentleman yields back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i believe there is a definition that is larger than what the professor mentioned. i would like to direct my comments to the administrative. if any of the rest of you want to weigh in, i appreciate that. i represent las vegas and was a strong proponent of nevada being named one of the original test centers. you mentioned that they are there for collaboration and research. what seems to have happened is, these test sites have fizzled out. they do not know what the goal is go with they should be doing. i would like to get you to comment on that. what can these test sites be doing to encourage and support? it seems like the faa has
all of its attention on granting these section 333 exceptions as opposed to working with the test sites. i would also ask you, when you grant these exceptions, do you continue to get information from these facilities that now can fly? how do you use that information to inform this process of regulation development? >> the private sector can use them and other researchers can use them for flight tests and other testing. we tried to streamline the approval process to a large degree which i think we have done, but at the same time they are designed to be a marketplace.a marketplace. some test sites have been more successful than others. we have been meeting with all the test sites over the
next two months to try to help jumpstart and facilitate some of that work. >> anyone else care to comment? >> i think industry, as they start to see the value of the test site because i'm not a technician or designer. the company that comes up with a small, lightweight, universally powered, active collision avoidance system that is priced at that.that can be placed on almost any aerial system will make a lot of money. the best place to test these are the existing test sites. >> i would like to go back to the administrator. part of my question was about
granting this section 333 exemptions which seems to be where most of your energy and effort is concentrated now, supporting technology and testing and data collection. is that accurate? >> i would say those are different functions. it certainly got a lot of attention, but it is a different group that does not. we have research going on in conjunction with nasa, dod, and the center of excellence. we are focused on all of those things. >> do you get information back? >> we do have some commercial partnerships were we are taking a dating and analyzing it. >> wouldn't that be helpful? >> it is not a restriction. we have issued 18333 exemptions. >> so you don't think it will be helpful?
>> it might be helpful. >> it is voluntary. >> that's correct. >> if you look at the way the agency is set up, is there more priority and effort and energy put into these exemptions? >> i would say that they are not linked. >> a different workforce. >> isn't that where the priorities are not? >> priority would be on both of those. >> we measured at 333's my throughput and on the test site and research it is not
amenable to an immediate metric measurement, but there is a lot of effort going in that. >> the gentle lady yields back. >> thank you, chairman. >> if it's not the future, it certainly the next frontier. there has been a longtime fascination going back to the days of da vinci and moving forward to the wright brothers and that we want to encourage innovation on that front and in general government regulation, regulation, control, and other inhibits that regulation and is vital ultimately to american competitiveness. if you want to have kids out there fiddling with something, at the base level
kids in the basement or garage working with some of the stuff may well lead to innovations and new developments that i think could have commercial applications and so what has hit me is how we get to a place that is minimally invasive with regard to unmanned and how do we get to a place that keeps government out of involvement as much as possible so that we maximize individual freedom without in any way interrupting commercial flight or noncommercial flight. my colleague, how do we come up with something that's really simple: there is the kind of legislation we talked about so you don't end up with a bunch of things being tacked onto this how do you keep up with
some massive database and we have to hire more. 90% of folks who would not be a problem. how do they do something quite simple, whether it is think your monday language or something else. i guess i begin with you. any ideas on something that may have seen. >> i think an altitude limit is minimally invasive. very easy to implement, not something that we can do now. >> but it would not solve the problem. you get to 400 feet.
>> trying to solve the whole problem is very complicated. >> we will keep it moving. >> your thought. >> i believe that the community approach has proven for decades to be an effective way of handling model aircraft/hobby environment and would like to that to continue keeping the community-based model. that if there is a way to restrict enabling of the vehicle when you purchase it until account is put in, you have to go online and pass a test. >> until technology catches up to public awareness.
>> i would say the most efficient way to get there is industry -based standard so we don't have to go down the regulatory path. >> i like the idea of industry-standard. one quick question because i see 52 seconds. this would be directed to you. going back to that idea of industry-standard, how would you describe the way in which ama developed their remodeling guidelines how do you do the local club level. they gather in a club and share information.
in terms of the broader membership, we do that through our mainstay magazine, through our online presence, and in terms of the uneducated consumer we are doing that through the no before you fly campaign. and make recommendations. >> aa summary of the incursions. >> we haven't available now. >> are you making recommendations from the summary? >> no. that is capturing what we have encountered. returned to faa and others are recommendations.
>> so, one of the instances in california, you reported that five aircraft were delayed for 20 minutes. >> yes. >> what impact can a 20 minute delay have on your ability to contain or suppressive fire? >> in backcountry fires, not a lot. it gets bigger. enter state fire it risks and depends upon the situation, but it could be dramatic. >> to find dramatic. >> loss of property, for sure, sometimes putting lives at risk. >> so, after we get a chance to review the summary we may do some follow-up with you just to understand better what steps we might take. faa and you all worked on
it.it. do you have any value or any of la? >> yes. >> what is in that? >> how we will want to proceed together to try to resolve these kinds of issues. we know we are an outlier in terms of our statistics and our operating altitudes. andand it is going to be a little more complicated. we need some help. >> how many millions of acres did you say were on fire? >> we burned by million acres. >> what was the other number you had? >> 47,00047,000 fires. >> is that an outlier? >> no. >> i don't think you are an outlier. i don't think so. mr. whitaker, how do you confirm that there have been situations where drones have
come and appropriately close to aircraft? there have been some questions about confirming these. >> as others have discussed, they are difficult to confirm. we don't have an ability to locate on the way that we would with the laser. and that. that is just the nature of the data. it is raw data. we can say that the trend in the data is pretty obvious. the number of reports on a monthly basis now is over 100. you can argue around the margins, but there is no question there is a significant trend. >> captain mcconnell, how do you confirm these numbers? >> the information we get is on a total bases. and here collision report. in their mind, which is the determinative factor, they
get appointed to the various links so that they can fill the form out. that is beyond the report that happens real-time with the pilot says, there is one of those drones, called the tower or approach control says i just observed this. and can warn the aircraft behind them. >> doctor k you are the technology guy. >> it is tough if you rely upon pilot reports. there have been at least one case where the pilot .the hitthought the hit a drone and it turned out later to be a bird. so it is tricky.
what you would have to rely upon is some kind of surveillance system, perhaps something near an airport that could actually capture these things. >> talk a little bit about -- and this is the final question. understand the difference between an engine taking in a bird and an engine taking in iraq composite material drone or drone that is metal -based. >> so, i should clarify that engine ingestion is not my area of expertise, but i have talked with people. and we don't really know. i was happy to hear that is being pursued, but it is not rocket science. itit has probably something to do with the size of the drones and components it is made out of and so forth.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yield back. >> it is always tough to follow my colleague talking about engine ingestion or ingestion or indigestion. great question, mr. larson. thank you for being here. i apologize. multiple hearings today. if i am redundant, please forgive me. i have a concern. i represent central illinois, home to some of the manufacturers of our newer type of hobby aircraft in uav technology and also home to many possible users of this technology for commercial use. i know a lot of discussion was on the exemption program that is currently being implemented and run through the faa, and part of my concerns have to do with some previous hearings like this where we talked about the exemption process moving very slowly to offer
commercial exemptions to those who have applied. and now says they have sped up but we have seen is some of the older requests being limited versus some of the newer requests on what can be done with the technology that they have applied for the exemption for. and mr. whitaker, i appreciate that your process has evolved at the faa, but i think they're might be a concern where older applicants and older exemptions that were issued may need to have some of the newer flexibility that some of the newer exemptions being issued currently enjoy. so is there a process in place of the faa right now to look at some of the older applications to see if they need that same tough to have same type of flexibility, and if so, are you going to do that unilaterally or is it se
previous applicants have to do? >> this is not a concern that ii have heard expressed before, but it sounds like a concern that they have flexibility that would normally be triggered by the current holders coming back for some adjustments to their application. >> they would have to come back personally. >> as opposed to us changing the conditions for them, but i we will look into that and respond to your office. >> please do. it is a concern to those in my district that have been possibly granted exemptions that may now be outdated. i do believe and hope that you take this back that we need to have some flexibility in that process because the technology has changed, even over the time
that this program, this exemption program was implemented and the technology is being produced in my district and will continue to evolve unless we hear in the federal government stop its ability to evolve and to continue to grow into what i think shouldi think should be commercial usage in a much more flexible commercial usage for uav technology and to do it in a safe way. while i have time left, i will not put your name. i we will call you doctor k again, too. can you give you give me -- can you give me an idea of how transponder technology can be helpful in avoiding some of the collisions, the issues that i think the faa is facing right now? >> yeah. if unmanned aircraft are flying at the level of transport aircraft or even up with general aviation aircraft, in order to be seen they need some
sort of transponder. >> wouldn't that work at lower-level flights? >> it could work as well. i am not sure how many life flight helicopters have them installed. but it is a possibility. the problem is that the cost of these transponders, including eight est out a pretty expensive. and they consume power and are heavy. so for a lot of these larger aircraft, it makes sense. and they should not be absolutely required. for small drones, maybe a couple pounds -- >> the technology for lightweight transponder check does not currently exist for the newer versions of uav? >> there is a lot of interest in developing this.
the activity of google, in fact. >> and entrepreneurial stream or dream. >> okay. >> how do you pronounce your last name? >> it's cooking there. >> the gentleman yield back. i recognize myself for a few moments. you talked about the difference between going after folks with serious penalties when they did not learn their lesson versus trying to train folks up. i am thinking about the number of incursions on restricted airspace by licensed pilots, trained pilots, pilots flying planes with transponders. i see those incursions into restricted airspace listed in the thousands. do you happen to know how many of those folks have faced serious penalties? >> you are talking about inversion between manned aircraft. >> that's right. >> i don't have statistics on that. our compliance philosophy would largely be the same,
focus on remediating the problem and making sure there is compliance is a 1st step. >> i am told the maximum financial penalty is $1,100. i think mr. mica in florida has legislation to increase that, but i just want to contrast that for a moment with what we are talking about with unmanned vehicles today. you are oneyou are one of my bosses, so i take you at your word when you tell me how we can solve problems, but i have heard a lot about adding technology to these $55 drones to keep them out of restricted airspace commit yet no one is making that same suggestion for 5 million, $150,000 manned aircraft. is the importance of keeping folks out of restricted airspace such that before we
start talking about adding technology to $55 drones we should be having it to $55,000 aircraft. >> it is a multilayer problem. straying into restricted airspace will ultimately result in you losing your license to operate the aircraft. tracking who is the operator of the unmanned aerial system is difficult. that is where part of the conflict is. we have to look at both. i do not know the numbers either, but i do know we have programs in the manned aircraft community or if you make a mistake in an aircraft, we are human and do make mistakes, you have a way of reporting it which is gathered into a database that we can do analysis on which does not exist for commercial operation of unmanned systems. >> having that reporting database might be even more powerful as an dictator of behavior than having some of
these technological restrictions across the board. >> they are both important. to have the database, we can look toward mitigations to the problems in this future. >> doctor, you suggested that one of the easy answers would be an altitude restriction. my guess is we will either have to change the strength of the transmitter or put an altimeter and every unmanned aircraft to make that effective. is that what you had in mind? >> i think that something should be enabled by default when you pull it out from underneath the christmas tree a lot of people just try to see how high they can go. we really want to prevent things like that. but they should be allowed
to be overridden because a lot of these consumer drones are used by legislative operators law enforcement and so forth. >> that was the very 1st line of capt.'s writtenis written testimony. this is obviously an industry that has great benefit, potential for americans for quality of life, safety of pilots and how we can come together on that. i will close with this and ask each one of you. they are an unlimited number of folks who want to do us harm. in this area we are talking about today unlimited number of ways that accidents can happen by untrained personnel, limited number of folks who are out there day in and day out to violate the rules as the faa has indicated. is that the challenge? not to find a one-size-fits-all aircraft
solution,solution, but to go after those folks who would intentionally violate what the industry standards are federal regulatory standards? >> i categorize the different kinds of users and worry a lot about the naïve users and reckless users. i think bad actors are separate category and ii would have to say there is relatively little we can do about that right now. >> should we be focused on the naïve users with the bad actors? >> intentional acts need to be dealt with, and there are existing laws and sanctions for that. the naïve or uneducated community is one that we need to focus on because we firmly believe and experience shows us that users, if good-natured and conscientious individuals they just need the proper information. >> if there are no further questions