Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Industry Efforts on §2209 – No Fly Zones

Earlier this week, three chemical-industry organizations sent a letter to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee concerning two UAS provisions contained in HR 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (the periodic FAA reauthorization bill). The two provisions of the bill are contained in Section 608, Application for Designation, and Section 617, Carriage of Hazardous Materials.

While the organizations support both provisions of the bill, they encourage the Committee to ensure that the FAA implements the §2209 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security act of 2016 (PL 114-190, codified at 49 USC 44802 note) requirement before it allows the carriage of hazardous materials by uncrewed aircraft systems. The letter notes:

“The risks to our facilities of overflights of hazardous materials by UAS are considerable. If new authority is given to UAS operators to transport even small quantities of hazardous materials before the FAA finalizes a Section 2209 rulemaking, our facilities will be put at even greater risk. As you consider granting new authorities to UAS operators to transport these materials (as granted in Section 617 of H.R.3935 and Section 816 of S.1939), we urge you to tie any new authorities to the completion of a final Section 2209 rulemaking.”

The Senate attempted to consider HR 3935 back in September when it ran into roadblock on their consideration of HR 4363, but it never moved passed the cloture motion to end the discussion to considering the bill.

The Senate Transportation Committee has not yet taken up S 1939 [removed from paywall], the Senate version of HR 3935. That bill contains a similar hazmat provision (§816), but is silent on §2309. It does, however, include a provision (§811) that would prohibit anyone (other than certain government agencies and employees) from operating “a system or technology to detect, identify, monitor, track, or mitigate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system in a manner that adversely impacts or interferes with safe airport operations, navigation, or air traffic services, or the safe and efficient operation of the national airspace system.”

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */