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A brief talk about drone policy with DJI’s US Policy Leader


DJI is the current leader in the market so we had to ask their US drone policy leader a few questions

Jon Resnick leads DJI’s drone policy efforts in Washington DC. Prior to joining DJI, he was a senior television planning editor with the Associated Press, leading news planning for AP’s national elections coverage. Jon spearheaded AP’s program to incorporate drones into professional news-gathering operations. He also played a leadership role in the News Media Coalition which is now conducting formal testing at an FAA sanctioned site.

Jon will be a panelist at the upcoming InterDrone conference for the important topic of Integrating Commercial Drones Into our National Airspace.  We had to ask him a few questions ahead of the conference itself.

Q. Your bio mentions that you lead DJI’s policy efforts in Washington, DC. What are the major policy changes you are hoping to see made around drones in the US?

First and foremost is getting commercial operations going. While the FAA has picked up the pace of 333 approvals, it’s a less than ideal solution, especially with the licensed pilot requirement. The NPRM does a number of things to promote commercial operations and we’re working to get that in place as soon as possible.

We also need clarity in the R&D space. I’m hopeful that the FAA’s expansion of the test site’s COAs nationwide is a positive development, but we need to see just how that will be implemented.

Q. We, at The Best Drone Info, feel strongly that drones are a great fit for many commercial needs. Unfortunately, many americans still have privacy concerns with the technology. What should US citizens know about drones to A) alleviate privacy concerns; B) Better understand the impact drones can have for our economy.

From a privacy perspective, we should keep in mind that most localities have ordinances against Peeping Toms. It doesn’t matter if your using a ladder, binoculars. telescope or drone – All that matters is your intent and that should be the thinking going forward if we’re to craft additional legislation. But I think our current protections cover us pretty well.

As far as the larger economic implication of drones, it’s vast. There are just a myriad of applications that can either be done more economically with a UAV or not at all unless you employ a UAV.

Q. At InterDrone you are speaking on a panel on “Integrating Commercial Drones Into our National Airspace”, a truly important drone policy topic. In your opinion, how is the FAA doing in this regard?

I think FAA is taking a bit of a wait and see stance in this regard. The NPRM basically keeps drones out of the traditional NAS. NASA UTM is the big dog on this right now, but there are a number of players with airspace proposals. All of those are basically low altitude. I think this low altitude sector can and should could be integrated very quickly. It’s operations in traditional navigable airspace that presents challenges.

Q. If you could get the FAA to make one change that would most positively impact commercial drone use, what would it be?

Eliminate the pilot requirement on 333s and just match the NPRM.

More about InterDrone.

InterDrone, The International Drone Conference and Exposition, September 9-10-11 in Las Vegas, is the first global scale conference for the builders, flyers and buyers of commercial drones. It will feature a two-day technical conference for engineers and software developers, an overlapping conference for commercial drone “buyers and flyers” in more than a dozen vertical market segments, and a drone business conference. 2500+ attendees.  Receive a $150 discount off the prevailing rate of the 3 day pass by inserting the code FLYIT or a $25 discount off any expo pass with code EXPO when prompted at www.interdrone.com

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