Industry Group Formed to Set Standards for UAVs and Establish a Flight School for Robot Pilots

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ARTICLE: Aerial Robotics Industry Association Formed Following Meeting With The FAA


After a meeting with an FAA regional manager for unmanned aviation systems, Al Ducharme, a founder of Hoverfly Technologies and Associate Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida (UCF) decided to form a new industry association — the Aerial Robotics Industry Association (ARIA).

Private sector initiatives have helped improve professionalism (AAAE), articulate standards for specific aviation sectors (NBAA) and research better safety techniques (AOPA Air Safety Foundation). All of those initiatives were clearly complementary to the FAA’s regulations and programs.

ARIA’s statement of its founding goals sounds a lot like the FAA’s own agenda on UAVs:

“…to set the standards for the safe operation of aerial robotics for commercial use, and thereby advance the growing community of professional pilots. ARIA will set safety standards, and certifications will be granted by ARIA for flight schools around the country.”

The agency’s statement of what it plans to do is found here. ARIA has also declared that it intends to create a new Flight School for the pilots of robots/UAVs. That sounds like a very worthwhile endeavor.

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