NAAA Statement on U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling Regarding Drone Registration
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jay Calleja
Phone: (202) 546-5722
ALEXANDRIA, VA – May 22, 2017 – The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is greatly concerned about the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals to halt the registration of drones considered to be “model aircraft.” Agricultural aircraft used to treat crops, fight fires and combat health-threatening pests, such as mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus and other deadly diseases, consistently operate at the same low altitudes as drones. As such, agricultural aviators are deeply concerned about their ability to fly safely in air space where pilots could encounter any unmanned aircraft, be it commercial or otherwise. A valuable component of the FAA’s drone registration program is the opportunity to educate the general population about the hazards of careless drone operations, and we believe that the FAA’s drone registration program serves to protect everyone in the air and on land. NAAA commends other organizations representing the drone industry, such as the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, that have also expressed disappointment in the U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision due to the registration system’s importance in promoting accountability and responsibility by users of the national airspace. NAAA now urges Congress to grant the FAA governance and oversight over all forms of aircraft to ensure the safety of the National Airspace System.
The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) represents more than 1,800 members in 45 states. NAAA supports the interests of small business owners and pilots licensed as professional commercial aerial applicators that use aircraft to enhance food, fiber and biofuel production, protect forestry and control health-threatening pests.