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AUVSI Delegation meeting with Congressman Keating AUVSI Delegation meeting with Congressman Keating

AUVSI New England at Capitol Hill

A key part of the AUVSI’s advocacy mission is to inform congress about the Unmanned Vehicle Systems domain, issues that affect the industry and about the AUVSI itself. As you may know Congress is composed of House of Representatives made of 435 members each serving a two year term, and the Senate made up of 100 Senators (two from each state) serving six year terms. These term periods mean that there is a lot of change of the members, at least every two years, so it is necessary to meet the new members and their staff as they may not know much about the industry.

The AUVSI convenes a Hill Day annually to serve as a centralized approach to meeting with new and existing members. For 2019, this took place on Sept. 25, where 114 AUVSI members participated in a total of 123 congressional meetings. Of those meetings, 37 were with congressional members and 54 were with senior-level staff. Additionally, U.S. Representatives Daniel Lipinski and Sam Graves spoke to members about their support of the unmanned systems industry during the breakfast and luncheon programs.


Waseem Naqvi, AUVSI New England and Raytheon, and Todd Busch, Sea Machines, at Capitol Hill

The AUVSI New England chapter was represented by Waseem Naqvi, Chapter President and at Raytheon. The focus of the meetings was to promote the AUVSI’s agenda, and also issues and support requests from our New England members. Requests included support for a Massachusetts wide test corridor for small UAS, larger urban air mobility, and counter UAS initiatives; Maritime UxV leadership; and support for the AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2020 convention which will be held in Boston May 4-7.

Meetings

The Massachusetts delegation met with the following Members and/or their staff:

Senator Edward Markey

Senator Markey is very interested and knowledgeable on Unmanned Vehicle Systems. He serves on the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee and its Subcommittees on Security and Transportation and Safety.

We requested that Boston, Massachusetts to be part of soon to be released FAA Counter-UAS Pilot Program as well as other items such as support for leadership in urban air mobility.

We were advised about the recent subcommittee hearing in June on transportation security. Massachusetts Port Authority state provided witness testimony focused on enforcement, technology, and collaboration/research, and requested that Massachusetts be included in the FAA announced pilot program for testing UAS detection systems at five yet-to-be chosen airports.

We were advised that with respect to UAS preemption that the Senator had submitted a letter to the FAA requesting clarity in small UAS rules. In regard to Remote ID, that the FAA should complete this vital ruling and that the interim of voluntary Remote ID is inadequate.

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Warren serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and its Subcommittees on Airland, Personnel, and Strategic Forces.

She is interested in the AUVSI and the AUVSI New Chapter activities, such as the establishment of a test corridor for small UAS, urban air mobility and Counter-UAS.

Some questions we were posed included who in the local state legislature are helping to spearhead local initiatives. We took an action to provide local Governmental points of contact. She is also interested in consumer groups that are represented by our chapter, including academic and fire safety.

 

Representative William Keating – 9th District

Congressman Keating is very interested and knowledgeable about the Unmanned Vehicle Systems domain and sits on the House Armed Services Committee and its Subcommittees for Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities and Strategic Forces. He is a member of the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

The Massachusetts delegation together with the AUVSI Maritime Advisory Committee jointly met with Congressman Keating.

He was keen to learn of the unmanned vehicle systems initiatives in Massachusetts and was knowledgeable about the maritime activities in Woods Hole, Boston, and at local companies.

  

Representative Ayanna Pressley – 7th District

Congresswoman Pressley is interested in the impact of new technologies such as Unmanned Vehicle Systems on the workforce, both positively and negatively. She is interested in medical and healthcare uses for UAS or drones.

 

Representative Lori Trahan – 3rd District

Congresswoman Trahan is very interested in Unmanned Vehicle Systems and sits on the House Armed Services Committee and its Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

She is interested in workforce development and specifically how to increase the numbers of engineers and researchers in aerospace, and cyber defense. Are there mechanisms to initiate internship programs.

 


Congress Members and Staffers at AUVSI Science Fair

Science and Tech Fair

In the evening, a Science and Tech Fair was held in the Rayburn Building Foyer, 11 AUVSI member companies provided interactive, hands-on exhibits displaying unmanned technologies. Over 350 staff members and four congressional members attended the event.

Summary

In summary, we achieved our objectives of introducing the domain, the AUVSI and the New England chapter for our members. We received good feedback and requests for further information.

We look forward to participating again next year.

 

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