Mark Bathrik: Gov’t Should Revise Airspace Policies to Cover UAS Operations

Jeff Brody

Mark Bathrik, director of the Interior Department’s Office of Aviation Services, told attendees at a Brookings Institution event that airspace regulations should also involve unmanned aerial systems that fly below 400 feet, Fedscoop reported Wednesday.

Bathrik said he is pleased with the government’s increased investment in small UAS technologies. However, he has concerns over regulators potentially enforcing stringent policies to prevent drones from impacting line-of-sight activities.

“I worry that we’re going to overregulate and over-equip drones that don’t ever need to fly beyond visual line of sight,” Bathrik said.

OAS deploys more than 670 drones that utilize sensor data to assist in operations such as federal land management, dam inspections, animal migration tracking and other flood, fire and volcano-related missions.

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