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ANSI establishes UAS standardization collaborative

May 30, 2017  - By
Image: GPS World

A May 19 meeting convened by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) confirmed there is broad-based support among key stakeholders from the private and public sectors for ANSI to establish an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Standardization Collaborative (UASSC).

The UASSC will work to coordinate and accelerate the development of the standards and conformity assessment programs needed to facilitate the safe, mass integration of UAS (drones) into the national airspace system of the United States.

Initial priority areas of focus are expected to include:

  • UAS airworthiness
  • command and control systems
  • remote identification
  • flight operations, including operations over people and beyond visual line of sight
  • licensing, training, qualification and certification
  • sense and avoid systems
  • safety and risk management

An initial kick-off meeting is anticipated in the third quarter of 2017. To stay up to date regarding future developments, email Jim McCabe, ANSI senior director, standards facilitation, at

The collaborative will also focus on international coordination and adaptability, with the goal of fostering the growth of the UAS market. The work effort will entail the development of a standardization roadmap to identify existing standards and standards in development, define where gaps exist and recommend additional work that is needed, along with a timeline for its completion and organizations that can perform the work.

ANSI Standardization Collaboratives are formed to support emerging technologies and national and global priorities by advancing cross-sector coordination in the development and compatibility of standards and conformance programs.

Ultimately, the purpose of such initiatives is to describe the current standards landscape, articulate standardization needs, inform resource allocation for standards participation, and drive coordinated standards activity while minimizing duplication of effort.

As a neutral facilitator, ANSI has a successful track record of having convened a number of such collaboratives in areas as diverse as homeland security, electric vehicles, energy efficiency in the built environment and, most recently, additive manufacturing.

The May 19 meeting drew close to 70 participants representing more than 40 organizations from industry, trade associations, standards developing organizations (SDOs), federal agencies, academia and others. The public- and private-sector co-chairs for the meeting were Earl Lawrence, director of the UAS Integration Office, Federal Aviation Administration, and Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

ANSI has been in dialogue with numerous stakeholders over the past year on this topic, including via panel discussions during the 2016 ANSI Joint Member Forum and at the April 2017 ANSI Company Member Forum. A number of SDOs already are involved in UAS standardization, underscoring the need for coordination to achieve a coherent set of standards.

“Given our history of bringing public- and private-sector stakeholders together to identify standardization needs to support new technologies, ANSI is well suited to facilitate the need for standards coordination in this exciting new technology area,” said ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia.

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