Speech – A Shared Language

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Washington, DC

Thank you, Eric. Good afternoon, everyone.

Its a real honor for the United States to be hosting this years FAA-EASA International Aviation Safety Conference. And I thank you all for joining us.

Its great to see so many of our international counterparts this week not only from Europe, but from around the world.

And having you all here I think speaks to the unique nature of the aviation industry.

Even at times when the geopolitical climate is tense when nations are more focused on differences than similarities the global aviation community comes together.

And its because, no matter where we hail from, we all share the same language.

The language of safety.

Aviation is the safest form of transportation in the world.

We say and hear those words all the time. But really think about it for a second.

Metal tubes, filled with some of the worlds most complex machinery, are hurtling through the air and navigating in three-dimensional space 35,000 feet above our heads right now.

Just figuring out how to do that was hard enough. Let alone to do it safely.

So howd we get here?

It comes down to a pretty simple idea. One that the entire aviation industry, from top to bottom, has embraced.

We dont compete on safety.

Conferences like this give us the opportunity to reaffirm that commitment. And its especially important to do so now.

The world and our industry are changing on an almost daily basis. That creates a lot of questions.

How do we safely integrate new users into our already busy airspace?

How do we harness technology to modernize the way we manage air traffic?

How do we maintain the safety of our system without stifling innovation?

These questions arent new. And theyre not unique to the United States. Were all grappling with them.

And if were going to find the right answers the best answers we need to continue building on the partnerships that have fueled so many of our successes to date.

That starts with how we integrate new users into our airspace.

This is an area where we can learn so much from each other. Unmanned aircraft and commercial space operations have truly captured the worlds imagination.

And as these industries grow, so do their airspace needs.

To help meet this increasing demand, the United States is embracing a flexible regulatory framework that can nimbly respond to innovation.

We were the first country to integrate commercial drone operations under specific conditions into complex airspace.

Now, were looking to go further.

I joined Secretary Chao last month to announce ten pilot program sites across the country where state, local, and tribal governments will be working with private industry to demonstrate and study expanded drone operations.

The information we gain from these trials will help us build out the regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft nationwide including operations over people and beyond visual line of sight.

Were also changing our approach to commercial space launches.

Its not enough to just accommodate this growing industry. We need to fully integrate it into our airspace.

Were looking at how new technologies like the Space Data Integrator can make launches less disruptive to nearby airspace users.

And were revamping our licensing processes to make it easier for commercial space operators to receive the approvals they need more quickly.

Of course, integrating new users into a system that already includes everything from jumbo jets to helicopters goes hand-in-hand with investing in modern air traffic systems that can manage it all.

This has been a priority on both sides of the Atlantic for many years now.

Here in the United States, were working closely with industry to prioritize our modernization efforts so that we can deliver concrete benefits to airlines, passengers, and businesses as quickly as possible.

In FAA facilities around the country, state-of-the-art computers are supporting new automation systems that make managing air traffic more efficient.

Weve deployed Data Communications technology nationwide to help pilots and controllers send messages to each other faster and more accurately.

Were using Performance Based Navigation to create more direct flight routes that save time and cut down on emissions.

And were about 18 months away from a deadline that will require all aircraft flying within controlled airspace to be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast better known as ADS-B.

ADS-B uses GPS satellites to give air traffic controllers a more accurate picture of where an aircraft is at any given moment.

About 25 percent of the U.S. airline fleet has already equipped with ADS-B.

And were working closely with our international partners to make sure any aircraft that will be flying in U.S. airspace has equipment installed that complies with the mandate by January 1, 2020.

This is part of our larger harmonization efforts with the global community.

The United States signed a revised Memorandum of Cooperation with the European Union late last year. It expanded our collaboration on air traffic modernization to include deployment activities. This will support continued seamless transatlantic operations.

At the same time, we signed an amendment to the US-EU Safety Agreement that makes it easier to validate and import each others aircraft and aviation parts.

Thanks to the relationship weve built over the years, we have a high-degree of confidence in our respective certification systems.

This agreement acknowledges that. It opens up a way for the US and EU to collaborate on flight simulation training devices, as well as on pilot licensing and training.

And we continue to build on this work today.

The FAA and the European Commission amended their Safety Agreement this morning, and took the first step toward lowering validation fees for manufacturers.

This amendment will also help get products to market faster by reducing the involvement of validating authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.

These agreements are just the most recent examples of the value of the relationship between the United States and our European partners.

Weve been able to make tremendous safety gains in transatlantic operations by working together. And its essential we protect them as we look to the future.

That’s the message I’ll be taking to the United Kingdom when I visit the Farnborough Airshow next month.

Brexit and its March 2019 deadline is obviously on all of our minds.

And as the clock runs down, removing uncertainty about the UK and its aviation agreements with the rest of the world only becomes more important.

Brexit is going to affect passengers, businesses, and the entire global supply chain. But early planning can help mitigate those impacts.

So it’s in everyones best interest to reach a decision on the aviation components of Brexit as soon as possible.

Fortunately, weve been certificating aircraft for decades. We know what agreements we need to have in place to ensure safe and efficient operations.

What we need now is focus and clarity.

We need to do everything possible to ensure a seamless transition and minimize disruptions.

Because the safety, efficiency, and affordability of our systems depend on it.

I said it earlier aviation is the safest form of transportation in the world. But it didnt start out that way. Far from it.

The earliest years of flight were filled with trial and error tragedy and sacrifice.

But we did the work. We worked together. And we achieved more than this industrys founding fathers could have ever dreamed.

But that doesnt mean our work is done.

We cant get complacent.

We went more than nine years and two months without a commercial passenger fatality here in the United States.

But the engine failure on Southwest Flight 1380 reminded us that even a single incident in our system is one too many.

The United States is a worldwide leader in aviation. Were proud of that reputation. And the Trump Administration intends to keep it.

But we know we don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.

We need our partners in the international aviation community to help us reach the next level of safety.

Aviation doesnt have borders, or boundaries.

Were a global community. And theres no limit to what we can achieve when we work together.

Thank you again for joining us this week. Im looking forward to a productive conference.

Speech – Amazing is What You Do

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Washington, DC

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Thank you, Paul. Im happy to be here. I want to thank you and Trish for your leadership and for being such great partners.

I also want to thank our controllers for the job you do every day. You safely handle about 45 thousand IFR flights a day over 31 million miles of domestic and international airspace.

To the layperson, this is nothing short of amazing.

But its what you do, every single day.

When it comes to safety and efficiency, you have set an incredibly high bar.

Ill give you a good example.

Last month, controller Tim Martin at Daytona Beach Tower came through for a 20-year old student pilot who was in trouble.

The pilot was flying solo when engine oil sprayed all over his windscreen. He couldnt see anything forward or sideways.

Tim calmed him down, and got him towards the Daytona Beach Airport. Once the aircraft was close to the runway, our tower controllers gave vertical guidance to the radar controller to relay to the aircraft.

Tim and his colleagues worked together to guide this pilot all the way to touchdown, and then let him know how much runway he had left.

When the student landed, he said we had saved his life.

Saves like these remind us that we must always be vigilant. Whether youre in the cockpit, the tower cab or the centerthe calmest, most benign day can turn on a dime into a life and death situation.

This became all too clear after Captain Shultz engine failed on Southwest Flight 1380. Tragically, this event took a life.

But, if not for the calm professionalism and coordination of the flight crew and air traffic controllers, it could have been much worse.

We had gone 9 years and 3 months without a commercial passenger fatality. But that tragedy reminds us that ensuring safety is a never-ending task.

The FAA and NATCA are doing everything possible to drive down safety risk. We have to continue to collect and share safety data identify and target the highest risk areas and work with our stakeholders to address the problems.

Over the past 10 years, FAA controllers have submitted more than 147,000 ATSAP reports. From these reports, we have put in place 181 corrective actions.

Thats 181 more ways to extend the safety margin so that accidents dont happen!

Let me give you some examples.

A controller at Albany Tower reported that trees were obstructing the view of Runway 28.

Thats a potential trigger for runway incursions.

ATSAPs Event Review Committee shared the report and coordinated a full Obstruction Evaluation. And following that, we put out a contract to remove or trim the trees from public and private property.

Employees at Kansas City Center also submitted ATSAP reports indicating problems with some frequencies for Kirksville, Missouri.

There were scratchy readbacks, numerous repeats, and missed calls. The frequencies had become useless on main and standby.

This is a bad thing all the way around. It could lead to miscommunication between controllers and pilots.

This could result in increased workload, distractions, and the potential for airspace and separation issues.

Technical Operations looked for causes and solutions, and last year they implemented a series of mitigations to solve the problem.

It was the ATSAP reports that really elevated the issues, so they could get the attention they needed.

None of that happens without you leaning forward. ATSAP turns up things that otherwise would have gone unattended to. Were as safe as we are because we make sure we get things right, and when theyre not, we fix them. Together.

As I said, this is what we do.

And its the same approach we need to take as drones come into the field.

This industry is rapidly evolving, and the FAA must stay a step ahead.

Our goal is to ensure safety while enabling innovation.

We could be looking at 3.5 million drones by 2021. As part of this effort, we have to ensure the safety of other aircraft and people and property on the ground, while safeguarding the needs of traditional airspace users.

Earlier this month, Secretary Elaine Chao announced the ten selectees that will take part in the FAAs UAS Integration Pilot Program.

These sites are going to change how we look at aviation. Were well familiar with border patrol, package delivery, and emergency response. Were just used to having someone sitting up front to do it.

Its a new day.

Over the next two and half years, the selectees will collect drone data on night operations, flights over people and beyond the pilots line of sight, and on detect-and-avoid technology.

For specific drone flights, they will be able get expedited approval for airspace authorizations. In turn, they will give us the data that will inform our regulations on drones.

Last month, the FAA announced a national beta test of a new automation tool called LAANC.

Were at the mercy of acronyms. LAANC is the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability.

LAANC is designed specifically to expedite requests by drone users to operate in controlled airspace near airports.

At early prototype locations, LAANC has cut the average approval time from three months to less than one minute.

As part of the beta test, over the next six months, the agency will be rolling out LAANC to nearly 300 air traffic facilities and about 500 airports.

We look forward to seeing the results.

Through the UAS Pilot, LAANC and the other efforts were making, the U.S. will continue to lead the world in safe drone integration.

None of this happens without you, and were going to hire more than 5,000 controllers in the next five years, to make sure were in a place to succeed.

Again this year, our hiring has been going very well. As of last week, we were at 82 percent of our hiring goal of 1701. This will be the third year in a row we have exceeded our goal.

Our largest staffing challenge is at New York TRACON. As you know, N90 is one of the worlds busiest and most complex RADAR facilities.

Over the past year, weve posted two announcements for experienced applicants to be assigned to N90. The ATO is providing the selected applicants with more intense simulator training that comes close to matching the real traffic there.

We have also taken steps to enhance Academy training. Its called Ten Eleven Twelve Radar Assessment, or TETRA. In the future, we will employ this training for new hires at N90 and other large complex RADAR facilities.

Thanks to NATCAs advocacy, there was a change in the law allowing us to post an announcement to hire applicants with no experience within a local commuting area.

We plan to post this announcement on June 19th, preceding an all-sources announcement scheduled for June 27th.

And whether its hiring, or any other important investment we make at the agency, stable funding is an important issue.

We must have a funding stream thats sustainable and matches what were trying to accomplish.

We were pleased that the House passed a five-year FAA reauthorization bill last month. But it certainly didnt play out the way we had hoped.

While we understand the political dynamics that prompted Chairman Shuster to remove the air traffic control reform title from the bill, we all agree that the status quo has not provided a stable, predictable funding stream to operate and modernize the NAS.

The stop-and-go funding has delayed needed system improvements. It makes planning for modernization projects difficult and more expensive.

And the 2013 sequestration forced us to suspend controller hiring and shutter the Academy for a year.

The pending bills are far from perfect, but Im committed to ensuring that you get the resources you need to continue delivering the level of service that the American people expect.

Under the leadership of Chairman Shuster and Chairman Thune, Im confident that a long-term bill will be enacted this year.

As controllers, your professionalism and teamwork are major reasons for aviations historic safety record.

I mentioned Flight 1380 earlier. When the pilot told Corey Davids, controller at New York center, they had to make an emergency landing, Cory and nine other controllers cleared the airspace so the plane could land in Philadelphia, as soon as possible.

Otherwise, the tragedy could have been much, much worse.

People who read or watched this story thought it was amazing.

But, I think Cory put it best when he said, We have thousands of controllers around the country that go in everyday, do their job, leave, and no one hears anything about anything.

Corys right. This is simply what you do. This is why FAA remains the gold standard around the world.

I look forward to working with you to keep it that way.

Speech – International Aviation Club Luncheon

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Washington, DC

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

As you can tell from that kind introduction, Ive been in the aviation industry for about 80 years or, most of my adult life.

Ive been fortunate to see aviation from so many vantage points. Of course, none better than the view from the cockpit.

But, my time at the FAA has been extremely rewarding. And its such an honor to be back with the opportunity to help shape an agency Ive always admired, at a time when its work is more important than ever.

Its also very cool to be invited to speak to the International Aviation Club. Ive been a member for years. So many good friends and colleagues Ive gotten to know and work with over the past few decades are here today. Its great to see you all.

Aviation has always been defined by change because it is constantly reshaping the world we live in. But the pace of change happening in the world right now is unique even by our standards.

I was recently in London, where Brexit and its March 2019 deadline is on everyones mind. As the clock runs down, removing uncertainty about the UKs relationship with the global aviation community only becomes more important.

It has the potential to affect passengers, businesses, and the entire global supply chain. If you make, operate, or maintain aircraft on either side of the Atlantic, Brexit will affect you.

So I knew I spoke for the entire aviation community when I shared with my European counterparts that it is in everyones best interest to reach a decision on the aviation components of Brexit as soon as possible. We have to get this right.

But in many ways, this is one of the easier issues our industry is dealing with right now.

Weve been certificating aircraft for decades. We know what agreements we need to have in place to ensure safe and efficient operations. We have clarity we need focus. We must stay focused on minimizing disruptions and supporting a seamless transition. And by we, I mean all of us.

A lot of other questions we need to answer about access, technology, and safety are much more complicated. And weve been facing those questions here in the U.S., and around the world for years.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles. During a panel, I was asked if I would ever ride in an autonomous aerial taxi. The question sounded almost surreal. That used to be Jetsons stuff. Now, its right around the corner were talking when, not if.

But, the list of how do we? questions is not to be taken lightly. How do we safely integrate these new users into our already busy airspace? How do we harness technology to modernize the way we manage air traffic? How do we maintain the safety of our system without stifling innovation?

The questions arent new, but just because theyre familiar doesnt make answering them any easier. And were doing it at a time when some folks are wondering: Are we up to the task?

Theres a perception out there that government is where good ideas go to die. Too many bureaucrats. Nothing gets done. And that makes people not want to work with us.

The pace of change is too fast. The scope of work is too big. The stakes are too high. We cant afford to be alienating the pioneers the trailblazers the groundbreakers. Theyre the foundation of our industry. And we need them at our table.

So if theres one message you need to hear, from the Trump Administration, Elaine Chaos DOT, and the FAA, its this: The era of red tape strangling good ideas is over.

Were building a bigger table not just for traditional aviation stakeholders, but the newest Silicon Valley start-ups. Were doing away with outdated processes that dont work in todays aviation system. And if people come into my office and say the reason we do something a certain way is because thats the way its always been done? You better believe Im sending them back to the drawing board.

At the very time when American innovators are leading the charge by doing things in a new way, government has to keep up. The FAA has to keep up. If theres a way for us to improve a process, weve got to lead the way. Thats what makes us a world leader in aviation, in safety, in efficiency.

But, I knowtalk is cheap. Youre thinkingwhat does this look like in the real world?

Earlier this month, I joined Secretary Chao to announce ten UAS pilot program sites across the country where state, local, and tribal governments will be working with private industry to demonstrate and study expanded drone operations.

We will get a better understanding of how operations over people, beyond visual line of sight ops, and flying drones at night work at the local level. The information we gain from these trials will not only help us expand the regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft nationwide, but it will also help us determine the appropriate level of local control.

Were changing our approach to commercial space launches. Its not enough to just accommodate this growing industry. We need to fully integrate it into our airspace.

Were using new technologies like the Space Data Integrator to make launches less disruptive to nearby airspace users. And were revamping our licensing process to make it easier for commercial space operators to receive the approvals they need more quickly.

This attitude also extends to certification. Were moving toward a more performance-based system where the FAA sets safety standards and lets manufacturers figure out the best way to meet them.

A rule overhauling how we certify small general aviation aircraft went into effect last year. And while its going to take some time, we plan to apply these same principles to more aircraft categories, including UAS, moving forward.

We also remain committed to modernizing our air traffic control system.

Ill be the first to admit: the debate around the FAAs latest reauthorization didnt go the way I hoped it would. And while Im happy to see a long-term bill on the horizon, I worry it still doesnt tackle some of the larger funding and management issues we face.

But Im not going to stop using the megaphone Ive been handed to make sure our workforce gets the resources and technology it needs to keep delivering the level of safety and efficiency the American people expect. And were going to continue working with industry to prioritize our modernization efforts.

Now, let me be clear about something: Making the FAA a better partner to the aviation industry doesnt mean were cutting corners on safety.

Our commitment to being the gold standard is not going to change. In fact, were setting the bar even higher. Were just not going to tell you how to clear it. We know this industry is going to solve some of the challenges were facing more quickly and more creatively than the FAA ever could alone.

We need our partners in the international community, as well.

The challenges facing the FAA arent unique. Civil aviation authorities around the world are grappling with the same issues. And the United States doesnt have a monopoly on good ideas.

Working together, we can and do get things done. We already have an impressive record of achievement from reducing aviations environmental impact, and harmonizing our air traffic control systems to sharing safety data, and streamlining our certification processes.

Theres so much we can learn from each other that can help us reach the next level of safety.

I come from a military background. My father was a Marine, and I was in the Air Force. Growing up as the son of a Marine, and later, as an officer myself, I learned that leadership isnt a fixed point.

You cant just declare yourself a leader one day, then say: Im done. Instead, you must keep asking yourself: How can I do more? How can I be better?

Our industry has always been like that. Aviation certainly didnt start out as the safest mode of travel on the planet far from it. But it is today.

No one handed us our current safety record. We did the work. You did the work. Together, we earned it.

But that doesnt mean our job is done. And we cant become complacent. The last few weeks have been a tough reminder one fatality in our system is one too many.

How can we do more? How can we be better?

We ask ourselves those questions every day at the FAA. But we cant answer them alone. Aviation doesnt have borders, or boundaries. Were a global community. We dont compete on safety. And theres no limit to what we can achieve when we work together.

So the United States stands ready to lead, and ready to partner with anyone who shares our vision for the future of aviation.

A future that is safe. A future that is innovative. A future that is limitless.

Oh I almost forgot The answer I gave to the question of whether I would ever consider riding in an autonomous aerial taxi? It was the same answer most of you would have given: In a heartbeat. Sign me up.

Thank you for the invitation to be here today.

Speech – Writing History in Real Time

Acting Administrator Dan Elwell
Baltimore, MD

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Good morning. I often wonder if the Wrights around 100 years ago really understood the magnitude of their invention. Or were they so caught up in flying that they didnt allow themselves a moment to ponderto ponder what would become their indelible thumbprint on the page of history?

We find ourselves today at a juncture not unlike that one, but in this case, were acutely aware of the ripple created by unmanned aircraft. In this day and age, were surrounded by innovationperhapsbuffetedis the better word.

I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and I tell you if you can dream it, I saw it at CES in Vegas. Retailer and ridesharing companies are creating their own skunk works on pilotless aircraft to deliver packages and people. The commercial space industry is making reusable rockets a reality. They just put a Tesla into orbit. Were on the cusp of a new age of supersonic travel. And self-driving cars are moving from Disneys drawing board onto Americas roadways.

If you are a student of aviation and a fan of innovation, today is your day. History and innovation are about to meet at the intersection we call unmanned aircraft. Drones are the future of aviation, but if past is prologue, and it most certainly is, drones are also the today of aviation, very much today. This is history in the makingreal timeand the people in this room are making it.

In fact, I think the size of this audience is an indication of why were moving as quickly as we are. Aviation has always depended on innovationbut as weve seen, innovation without collaboration is a non-starter. Our recently completed Pathfinder program featured groups that wed never partnered with beforelike train operators and broadcasting outlets. Id like to thank these partners CNN, PrecisionHawk, and BNSF Railways for successfully concluding Phase 3 of their pathfinder operations late last year.

We also successfully completed the prototype evaluation for LAANC the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability. This automates how UAS operators get permission to fly in controlled airspace a crucial first step for UAS traffic management. Were going to conduct a national beta test starting April 30. Nearly 300 air traffic control facilities and 500 airports will be covered by September. Thats a significant expansion of a successful program designed specifically and directly for the people in this room.

In addition, beginning April 16, were going to start accepting applications from new partners looking to provide LAANC services. Right now, there are fiveSkyward, AirMap, Project Wing, Boeing and Rockwell Collins. If youre interested, you can find information on the application process on the FAA web site.

With LAANC, pilots and drone companies can receive near real-time airspace authorizations eliminating the manual authorization process that can sometimes take weeks. Controllers can see where planned drone operations will take place. This allows them to mitigate risk by ensuring no other aircraft are operating near the drone. I want you to know: were listening.

Im particularly proud of another effort Im sure youve all heard about by nowthe UAS Integration Pilot Program. Weve created an opportunity for State, local and tribal governments to partner with the private sectorpeople like UAS operators and manufacturers. President Trump established this to accelerate integration to ensure U.S. global leadership in this industry. The response has been enthusiastic. Given this crowd, no surprise there. We had 149 lead applicants, from which Secretary Chao will select at least 10. The pilot program is going to broaden our concept of what drones can do and help inform a streamlined regulatory posture going forward.

That said, its important that safety continues to guide each step we take.

Ive said on more than one occasion that safety is the key to the front door of the National Airspace System. Our goal for unmanned aircraft remains full, complete and total integration. But the cautionary tale from well-established aviators is, as I said a moment ago, one simple word: safety.

Safety is our top priority, but it is everyones shared responsibility. The U.S. national airspace system is the envy of the rest of the world. It runs well, but it runs that way because safety guides everything we do.

Other challenges warrant our attention. Despite our success with the Part 107 small UAS rulethe worlds first comprehensive framework for UAS regulationweve much more ahead of us. Were working to expand small UAS operating parameters while making sure we appropriately consider security and privacy issues.

The FAA, the Department, and the White House are all on the same page in this respect working well both inside and outside the government is key to getting things done. Youll be hearing more about this in the near future.

As the regulator, weve got to adopt an attitude of regulatory humility. Weve got to get things done faster. The U.S. Government is a behemoth it doesnt adapt very well to change. So while a big change like unmanned aircraft is happening as I speak, the FAA cannot make the mistake of thinking we have all the answers, all the time. We have to work with industry to develop technology and solutions to our common problems.

Ultimately, its the responsibility of the FAA to ensure we have the appropriate standards in place to assure the NAS is safe for all users. Likewise, we mustnt lose focus of the safety of the people on the ground. Working together, weve begun the iterative process of UAS integration while maintaining safety.

We also continue to evaluate remote identification for unmanned aircraft. For this industry to flourish commercially and be of public service, all aircraftunmanned or otherwisemust be identifiable. You wouldnt expect to see unlicensed vehicles on the highway. Dirt bikes are fine for the woods, but when you see one on the beltway, theres a problema problem for them and a problem for everyone around them.

Were committed to moving very quickly to establish remote ID requirements. Civil aviation in the United States has become the symbol of safety because of situational awareness. If you want to fly in the system, you have to be identifiable and follow the rules.

The provisions excepting model aircraft in the FAA Modernization Act of 2012 from any regulation must be revisitedsoonto address ongoing concerns related to security, law enforcement and integration. Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure accountability without overburdening the public, and collaboration between government and stakeholders, as mentioned before, will be critical to meeting these challenges.

Id be remiss not to mention the need to mitigate risks to national security and public safety posed by people who arent playing by the rules–whether by intent or ignorance. If you think about it, a malicious act could put a hard stop on drone integration. And in that case, wed lose the true safety benefits to people like powerline and mine inspectors who would have to put themselves back into harms way without the use of drones.

Obviously, we cant let that happen. We cant lose traction, nor can we jeopardize public safety or national security. Were working with partners across the government to find ways to address security issues. We must ensure that the United States remains a global leaderand that we benefit from this rapidly developing sector of the economy. Make no mistake that public safety and national securityremaintoppriorities.

Congress has given DOD and the Department of Energy the authority to counter UAS that threaten sensitive facilities. From where I stand, thats the right move. We support enabling other security partners such as the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to protect assets and operations critical to national security. By enabling Federal security and law enforcement agencies to detect and mitigate risks posed by errant or malicious UAS operations, the United States will continue to offer the safest and most efficient aviation system in the world. As you can imagine, theres considerable churn over this subject, and the public discourse needs to be robustwhich is why I highlight it here.

Congress is heavily involved with the drone issue, which I view as a positive sign. As an agency, we appreciate some of the provisions in both Reauthorization bills. The details of the provision in each bill are different, but both bills take the issues head on, particularly related to accountability and risk.

There are a number of provisions regarding UAS safety. As I said, Congress is leaning in here, and thats helpful for all of us. We look forward to Congress getting a long-term FAA bill finished so the FAA will have the appropriate tools to continue our work advancing safe drone integration.

I believe the next 12-18 months are critically important to integration. If youre an innovator or an operator, the FAA wants to work with you. Were heavily invested. Drones are new to our airspace, but were in the business of handling the next big thing. Were used to new technology. We have the best controllers, the best inspectors and the best technicians. Other industries have asked us for insight on safety: automotive; power; finance. Were good at connecting the dots, and we are equal to this task.

Im encouraged by the energy in this industry and the willingness of everyone in this room to work together. Weve raised the collaboration bar to a new heightand were just getting warmed up. We have obstacles, but none of them are insurmountable. And in truth, I think the best is yet to come.