Drone Safety Standards: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Switzerland Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) entered into a unified approach to legislation and technology. They did so by announcing, on July 8, 2020, that they had reached an agreement in harmonizing domestic and international safety standards for unnamed aircraft vehicles (UAVs).
Invole is a Swiss company that has been introducing new technologies, which enables the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) to further the cause of unmanned traffic management (UTM). It does so to the point where it is almost ready to be the first country to deploy a workable commercial airspace, which will be able to handle manned and unmanned vehicles at the same time. This means that the FAA will benefit from all of these advances and tests that made such a solution work.
According to Jay Merkle, executive director of the FAA’s UAS Integration Office:
“UAS activities are now accepted worldwide as a vital sector of aviation. . . . This U.S./Swiss agreement continues the move forward of the safe, efficient, and internationally harmonized integration of these vehicles into the world’s airspace.”*
Swiss FOCA is considered to be one of the great forward-thinking bodies on UAS Integration. Therefore, there is considerable enthusiasm, even though this is only the beginning towards full cooperation. Yet, the Declaration of Intent (DOI) is a commitment to joint development of practices which are likely to influence future policy activities, a meaningful step into future cooperation.
In referencing programs like the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on UAS (JARUS) and Specific Operations Risk, Mike Pehel, chairman of InterDrone, stated, “International cooperation can only bring speed to the development of safe and sensible policy.”*
Such agreements make it possible for different countries and different jurisdictions to begin the challenging process of harmonizing international rules and regulations. By doing so, unmanned aviation will be able to join with other companies in contributing to the global economy.
The new agreement between the FAA and Switzerland’s FOCA will work in unison to test, evaluate, and publish, various aspects of UAS safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed an agreement with the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) to work on standards concerning the integration and safe use of unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace. FOCA also promotes technological and operational research in the field and the development of all aspects related to these UAVs.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Switzerland Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) are examples of what it means to enter into a unified approach to legislation and technology, which will enable them to harmonize domestic and international safety standards for drones. Such drone safety standards’ partnerships
make it possible for unmanned aviation to join with other companies in contributing to the global economy.