On Wednesday, July 15, the House Small Business Committee held the hearing "Taking Flight: Small Business Utilization of Unmanned Aircraft," focusing on small businesses and their use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and the potential that the UAS industry has for the small business community. Witnesses included the CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Director of the Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Brigham Young University, and representatives from two companies using UAS for agriculture and filmmaking.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), the Chairman of the Committee, and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), the ranking member, both focused their opening remarks and questions on the potential that UAS have for small businesses - whether as tools or as a new sector for businesses to grow in - and the FAA proposed regulations (which were published in February of this year). They discussed the need to protect citizen privacy and safety, while also keeping barriers to growth in the industry low so it can reach its full potential and bring jobs and money to the U.S. economy.
NAR submitted a letter for the record to the Committee thanking them for holding the hearing and highlighting our close relationship to the small business community. We also included information about how NAR members with Section 333 waivers are utilizing UAS in their businesses, and their commitment to balancing the new opportunities this technology brings with protecting the privacy and safety of others, both in the air and on the ground.