American standards group to focus on drones

By Luke Geiver | June 07, 2017

An organization aimed at making the U.S. more competitive on a global scale has set its sights on drones. The American National Standards Institute has announced plans to establish an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative to “coordinate and accelerate the development of the standards and conformity assessment programs needed to facilitate the safe, mass integration of UAS into the national airspace system.”

The decision to form the collaborative group started more than a year ago, ANSI said. A May 19 meeting this year drew 70 participants from more than 40 organizations, helping ANSI see the need and direction it can take with its UAS work.

Previously, ANSI has been involved with homeland security, electric vehicles, energy efficiency in the built environment and most recently, additive manufacturing.

To start, ANSI will work on several areas, including: international coordination and adaptability; identifying existing standards and standards in development; define where gaps exist in current standardization and recommend additional work to be done along with a timeline and organizations that can perform the work.

Typical ANSI collaboratives are formed to help emerging technologies and national and global priorities, ANSI said, by advancing cross-sector coordination in the development and compatibility of standards and conformance programs. “Ultimately, the purpose of such initiatives is to describe the current standards landscape, articulate standardization needs, inform resource allocation for standards participation, and drive coordinated standards activity while minimizing duplication of effort.”

“Given our history of bringing public- and private-sector stakeholders together to identify standardization needs to support new technologies, ANSI is well suited to facilitate the need for standards coordination in this exciting new technology area,” said Joe Bhatia, president and CEO of ANSI.

ANSI believes it will initially focus on UAS airworthiness, command and control systems, remote identification, flight operations over people and beyond visual line of sight, licensing, training, qualification and certification and other areas. By the third quarter of this year, ANSI believes it will begin its work, according to Jim McCabe, senior director at ANSI.