April 27, 2018

House Passes Schiff Drone Amendment to FAA Reauthorization

Amendment gives FAA the Ability to Detect and Monitor Drones Entering Restricted Airspace

Washington D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed an amendment introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) that addresses the increase in unmanned aircrafts, or drones, entering restricted airspace such as airports or above forest fires. The amendment, which was unanimously approved by House, requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) program that utilizes remote detection and identification technologies to identify unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that are not in compliance with applicable federal aviation laws and regulations.

“The dramatic explosion in the number and sophistication of consumer drones has far exceeded the pace of regulation necessary to protect the public,” said Rep. Schiff.  “In a complicated and crowded airspace like the one we have in Los Angeles, where drones have interfered with firefighting operations and caused issues for landing planes and helicopters, we must prioritize public safety. That is why it was so important for Congress to give the FAA and law enforcement the appropriate tools to address increased drones in restricted airspaces.”

In addition to the inclusion of Rep. Schiff’s amendment, the bill also includes language requiring the FAA to study the potential health impacts of overflight noise due to the implementation of NextGen in Los Angeles County. The FAA has implemented NextGen – a shifting of air traffic control from ground-based radar and radio navigation to more precise satellite-based navigation and aircraft tracking – across the country. Los Angeles County implemented NextGen via the Southern California Metroplex in April 2017, which altered flight routes for some airports in the Los Angeles region. Last month, Rep. Schiff sent a letter to the FAA urging the agency to review the impacts of NextGen air traffic control technology on the community surrounding the Hollywood Burbank Airport.