The House of Representatives approved aeronautics provisions authored by Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, into law Thursday when it passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
The provisions addresses technology challenges for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into modern commerce through developing tools to strengthen the physical and cyber security of airspace systems and aircraft. They also ensure the agency is a good partner to private sector technology leaders that are working on improvements to the way people and cargo fly.
These provisions were adopted from H.R. 3198, the FAA Leadership in Groundbreaking High-Tech Research and Development Act, that Knight introduced in July 2017.
“UASs offer huge potential to our commercial, recreational, and utility sectors,” Knight said. “This bill will help create an environment that encourages business to develop and test new systems here in the U.S. instead of moving abroad to find an easier regulatory environment. This ensures the FAA will be a good research partner to the private sector for the safe development of UASs.”
The FLIGHT R&D Act provisions in the bill would also provide additional tools to the FAA to develop a national cybersecurity infrastructure specifically designed to protect American airspace.
“Our enemies are constantly searching for ways to harm us or compromise our way of life.” Knight said. “We need to always remain at least one step ahead of them in order to defend our communities. With more people in the air at any given moment than any time in history, it’s critical that we invest in a robust and proactive cybersecurity framework.”
Knight is a member of the Science, Space, & Technology Committee. He also is founder and Chairman of the House NASA Caucus, which currently comprises of 46 members of both parties.
Congressman Lamar Smith R-Austin, Chairman of the House Science, Space, & Technology Committee, thanked Knight for introducing the bill in a statement.
“The FLIGHT R&D Act, included in the bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act that Congress approved last week, strengthens America’s leadership in civil aviation innovation.” Smith said. “The bill enables advancements in aviation science and helps grow the vibrant aviation economy.”