New UAS FAA execs named

By Luke Geiver | September 03, 2015

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has released the names of two new executives that will work to help the agency integrate UAS into the national airspace. Hoot Gibson, a former NextGen Institute executive director, will become the Senior Advisor on UAS integration and “an enterprise level approach to FAA management.” Gibson will report directly to Michael Huerta, FAA administrator.

Within the UAS Integration Office of the FAA’s Aviation Safety organization, Earl Lawrence, former director of the FAA’s small airplane directorate, will become the new director and also help to bring UAS into the national airspace. Each newly named staff member will begin in their roles later this month. 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has also issued a statement to clarify its jurisdiction over hobbyist unmanned aircraft operators. In addition to information regarding law’s related to model aircraft operations, the FAA stressed that “model aircraft operators must comply with all Temporary Flight Restrictions, that they may not fly in any type of restricted airspace without prior authorization and that they should be aware of Notices to Airmen that address flights near federal facilities, stadiums and other public and industrial areas.”

The FAA also noted that its guidance “also makes clear that model unmanned aircraft operations that endanger the safety of the nation’s airspace, particularly careless or reckless operations and interference with manned aircraft, may be subject to FAA enforcement action.”

According to the FAA, the updated guidance reflects current law governing hobbyists or recreational users and replaces previous guidance that, as written in 1981, “did not reflect rules Congress wrote into Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.”