U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), today applauded the Senate for passing their legislation to ensure the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) chief drone policy committee includes representation for agriculture, forestry, and rural America. The Drone Advisory Committee for the 21st Century Act would also ensure that the FAA provides representation for local government officials, including those from county and tribal governments, on the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC).
“As technology becomes more sophisticated, farmers will increasingly rely on drones to assess, monitor, and manage their farm activities,” said Thune. “Rural areas like South Dakota – where agriculture is the state’s top industry – deserve to have a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions on drone policies and best practices. I’m pleased the Senate passed this bill to ensure representation from rural areas on the Drone Advisory Committee.”
“With drones becoming integral to Michigan farms and businesses, it’s important that farmers, and rural representatives have a seat at the policy making table—especially when it impacts their bottom line and as they deal with unprecedented challenges related to this unprecedented public health and economic crisis,” said Peters “I am pleased that the Senate has passed this commonsense bipartisan legislation that will help ensure that agriculture, forestry and rural perspectives across the state are taken into account before new regulations are developed.”
“Drones are another tool in the toolkit for agricultural producers to run a more sophisticated and efficient operation,” said Roberts. “I’m proud this bipartisan legislation gives farmers a seat at the table when decisions are being made about drone policies.”
The Drone Advisory Committee for the 21st Century Act would encourage public participation in the nomination process to increase broader user representation on the DAC, and would emphasize transparency requirements to ensure that the DAC’s work becomes part of the public record.The legislation has the support of a number of organizations, including the Rural & Agriculture Council of America, American Forest Foundation, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Association of Corn Growers, United Egg Producers, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, American Dairy Coalition, and the National Association of Counties.