The Federal Aviation Administration says the task force charged with drawing up recommendations for registering recreational drones includes two Amazon representatives: Sean Cassidy, a former Alaska Airlines pilot who’s working on the Amazon Prime Air drone venture; and Ben Gielow, who’s a senior manager for public policy at Amazon.
In today’s announcement detailing the task force’s membership, the FAA said the group’s co-chairs are Dave Vos of GoogleX and Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office.
Other task force members include Walmart’s Thomas Head, Best Buy’s Parker Brugge and GoPro’s Tony Bates, as well as representatives of drone manufacturers and operators, aviation associations, surveyors and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Amazon and Walmart are both working on drone delivery systems. GoogleX, which has served as Google’s think tank, is looking into commercial drones as well. Such operations, however, would be covered by a different set of regulations that’s working its way through the FAA system.
The task force is charged with suggesting a system for registering recreational drones by Nov. 20. The group is due to convene formally for the first time next Tuesday, the FAA said. Public comments are being taken through Nov. 6.
Over the next month, the FAA, the U.S. Department of Transportation, NASA and other federal agencies will provide expert support to the task force. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said last week that the registration rules could be in place in time for Christmas, but that might be an overly optimistic timetable.
Last week, the Consumer Electronics Association warned against regulatory overreach when it comes to recreational drones. “New federal government requirements for reporting of product ownership must be balanced against factors including convenience, data integrity and privacy,” Gary Shapiro, the CEA’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
Doug Johnson, the CEA’s vice president for technology policy, is a member of the task force.
Here’s the membership list as announced by the FAA:
Nancy Egan – 3D Robotics
Richard Hanson – Academy of Model Aeronautics
George Novak – Aerospace Industries Association
Chuck Hogeman and Randy Kenagy – Air Line Pilots Association
Jim Coon – Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Sean Cassidy – Amazon Prime Air
Ben Gielow – Amazon Retail
Justin Towles – American Association of Airport Executives
Brian Wynne – Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
Parker Brugge – Best Buy
Douglas Johnson – Consumer Electronics Association
Brendan Schulman – DJI
Paul Feldman – General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Dave Vos – GoogleX (Co-Chair)
Tony Bates – GoPro
Matt Zuccaro – Helicopter Association International
Mike Fergus – International Association of Chiefs of Police
John Perry – Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors
Brandon Declet – Measure
Randall Burdett – National Association of State Aviation Officials
Sarah Wolf – National Business Aviation Association
Baptiste Tripard – Parrot
Tyler Collins – PrecisionHawk
Gregory McNeal – Small UAV Coalition
Thomas Head – Walmart