Agenda (As of January 3, 2018)

The 2018 UAS Symposium provides stakeholders with the opportunity to talk face-to-face with a cross-section of government and industry representatives about regulations, research and initiatives to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS).

This year’s agenda is based on stakeholder feedback and focuses on industry partnerships as well as how to overcome technical challenges to safe UAS operations. The FAA will operate a resource center during the symposium to provide technical support on authorizations, waivers, Part 107 requirements, and other policies and regulations.

Stop by anytime to have your questions answered by staff from the FAA’s Flight Standards Service, Air Traffic Organization, and other policy and IT experts.

Tuesday, March 6
0730 Registration Open

Ballroom III & IV Foyer, Level 400

0730 Continental Breakfast Available

Ballroom III & IV Foyer, Level 400

0900 – 0945 Welcome and Conference Keynotes

Ballroom III & IV, Level 400

945 – 1030 FAA Leadership Panel
1030 – 1050 BREAK
1050 – 1145 Workshop: Understanding Remote Pilot Responsibilities

The FAA has already issued over 75,000 remote pilot certificates – and that number continues to grow rapidly. This workshop will explore the important responsibilities of the growing remote pilot community (including hobbyist/noncommercial operators) to address risks to nonparticipants on the ground and to other aircraft sharing airspace with them in the NAS.

Workshop: UAS Rulemaking – From Idea to Implementation

In traditional aviation, we’re used to technology taking years to mature. UAS have considerably shortened that timeline, and it’s no secret that it can be a challenge for government to keep up. Come get familiar with the FAA’s rulemaking process and learn about the external factors that impact rulemaking timelines and outcomes.

Workshop: Flying in the NAS Today

The potential benefits of operating UAS are completely lost if you can’t fly where and when you need to. This session will discuss the various methods that operators can use to gain access to the national airspace system and the specifics related to each type of operation including processing criteria, application requirements, and operator requirements.

1145 – 1145 BREAK
1205 – 1320 Luncheon Panel
1320 – 1340 BREAK
1340 – 1455 Discussion: Unblocking the Potential for Flying Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight

Everybody’s next steps rely on how they can operate beyond visual line-of-sight, which offers limitless potential. But how can operators ensure that BVLOS operations are done safely, and how do we ensure future scalability? This session will explore regulatory precedents and risk mitigation strategies, as well as how industry can help the FAA move the needle forward.

Discussion: Legislation and Regulation – Who's in Charge of What?

Do buzzwords like “legislation” and “regulation” all mean the same thing to you? Wondering about the FAA’s upcoming reauthorization, funding levels, and policy priorities? This session will outline the relationship between legislators and regulators, and Congressional staffers will offer insight into areas of focus for upcoming legislation.

Discussion: Forecasting and Emerging Markets – Looking in the Crystal Ball

With technology and innovation blazing ahead at warp speed, come get a sneak peek on expected market outlooks from FAA and industry experts and provide feedback on the FAA’s latest UAS forecast.

1455 – 1515 BREAK

Afternoon Snack Available

1515 – 1630 Workshop: Becoming a LAANC Service Supplier

LAANC is a new industry-developed application that gives drone operators fast access to approved altitudes in controlled airspace, supplementing the manual process and reducing wait time from months to seconds. Come hear what to expect during the nationwide rollout and find out how additional industry partners can get involved.

Workshop: International Operators in the United States

Part 107 provides clear guidance to operators using aircraft registered in the United States. But what is the process for foreign operators to fly their UAS in the U.S.? This workshop will provide information on options and considerations for registration, piloting, and operation of small UAS by foreign operators wanting to do business in the U.S. under Part 107.

Workshop: Unsafe/Unauthorized UAS – What Can You Do?

The increasing number of UAS has placed additional requirements on law enforcement. In this session, the FAA’s General Counsel and Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) will lead a workshop on what authority state and local agencies have when responding to public safety and privacy concerns. Attendees will learn what resources are available to them and how to leverage existing authorities to ensure public safety and security.

1630 –1800 Welcome Reception

Camden Lobby, Level 300

Wednesday, March 7
0730 Registration Open

Ballroom III & IV Foyer, Level 400

0730 Continental Breakfast Available

Ballroom III & IV Foyer, Level 400

0800 – 0900 Morning Roundtable
0900 – 0920 BREAK
0920– 1035 Discussion: High Altitude Operations

Lately, the focus of UAS integration has been on smaller UAS at low altitudes – but there are many companies that are looking much higher than that. As demand for access to Class A and Upper E airspace grows, the FAA is working with industry to develop standards for high altitude UAS operations for surveillance, communications, and internet service. Hear from some of the companies and organizations working to go higher.

Discussion: Remote Identification – What to Expect

A crucial component of UAS integration efforts is remote identification and tracking technology. This past summer, the FAA enlisted law enforcement representatives and members of the UAS industry to provide the FAA with recommendations on security requirements and technological availability for UAS ID and tracking. This session will provide an overview of these issues, as well as an update on rulemaking efforts and obstacles to rulemaking.

Discussion: Forging New Partnerships – Education and Communication in the Unmanned Industry

As more unmanned aircraft take flight, how do we – industry and government—cultivate a safety culture for UAS operations across the county? This session will consider strategies for fostering cross-platform education and communication that can be employed to encourage safe operations, best practices, and responsibility within the unmanned arena. Participants will be encouraged to offer new ideas and share resources with the broader stakeholder community.

1035 – 1055 BREAK
1055 – 1155 Workshop: Flying BVLOS Today

We know the potential applications for operations beyond visual line-of-sight are unlimited, but where do you start? Is there only one path? Who do you need to talk to first? The process can seem overwhelming. This workshop will run through scenarios and outline what the FAA needs from you to get to yes when it comes to BVLOS operations.

Workshop: A Beginner's Guide to Preemption

As UAS become more prevalent, many state and local jurisdictions have concerns about safety, privacy, and other issues. UAS operators need to know what rules apply, and need to know who to turn when they have concerns. Who controls the airspace? Come hear the FAA’s position on state and local rules governing UAS operations and learn who has the power to regulate.

Workshop: UAS Standards – What Exists and What's Coming

There is a flurry of activity regarding standards development for UAS – which are instrumental in the future of UAS operations. Numerous organizations are developing standards for operations, certification, and risk mitigation, and this session discusses the standards work that is ongoing, and the use cases where these standards can be applied to help enable future operations with UAS.

1155 – 1215 BREAK
1215 – 1330 Luncheon Panel
1330 – 1505 Discussion: Drones at Airports – Who Can Do What?

UAS operating on or near airports can provide great benefits, but also pose unique risks. This breakout session will focus on best practices for airport operators and local authorities, including what authority an airport or local official has to ensure safe and efficient airport operations.

Discussion: Understanding and Enabling Air Traffic Management for UAS

What is UAS traffic management? How will it translate into operational scalability in real world airspace? The answers probably vary depending on who you ask. This breakout session will focus on the FAA’s perspective on the concept for a UAS traffic management ecosystem, including identifying known gaps and common misconceptions.

Discussion: Drones and Public Safety – Useful Tool or Public Nuisance?

Room 339/340, Level 300

As the impact of urban disasters and extreme incidents is increasing, UAS have proven to be a valuable tool for emergency responses efforts. This session will explore possible applications and challenges for using drones in public safety work, and consider policy and best practice improvements for government and industry.

1505 – 1525 BREAK
1525 – 1630 Workshop: Conducting Public Aircraft Operations

Local, state, and federal governments have more than one way to operate UAS – depending on the type of mission they are conducting. This workshop will walk through the approval process for public aircraft operations, including what constitutes a PAO, the steps for getting a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA), and considerations for public operators who may be choosing between flying under a public COA vs. Part 107.

Workshop: Autonomous Vehicles – Lessons Learned for and From UAS

From selfie drones to flying cars, autonomous operations present the archetypical image of the future of aircraft. This industry-led workshop takes the lessons learned from unmanned vehicle technology and regulation and applies them to the UAS industry.

Workshop: Submitting Operational Waiver Requests

Part 107 provides the first-ever foundation for UAS regulations in the country – and one of its most popular components is waivers. However, it’s one thing to want a waiver and another thing to obtain one. Come learn the key elements of how to create a complete FAA operational waiver application. This workshop is a hands-on, collaborative discussion on how to submit a complete application and here from industry representatives who were some of the very first to receive complex waivers.

Thursday, March 8
0730 Registration Open

Ballroom III & IV Foyer, Level 400

0730 Continental Breakfast Available

Ballroom III & IV Foyer, Level 400

0800 – 0900 Morning Keynotes

Ballroom III & IV, Level 400

UAS Traffic Management—From Research to Reality

Description: A common framework for UAS traffic management (UTM) that is efficient, scalable and leverages current technologies is critical to industry efforts to safely enable a multitude of business applications and use cases. Deployable and economic solutions that draw upon research, infrastructure capabilities and industry experience are an achievable reality. In this keynote Gur Kimchi will share a vision for the practical, constructive steps operators and service providers can take to achieve this federated model for unmanned traffic management.

Speaker: Gur Kimchi, Vice President of Amazon Prime Air

0900 – 0920 BREAK
0920 – 1035 Discussion: Drone Delivery – How Close Are We?

Drone delivery has generated significant media buzz for several years now, but how close are we really? This session will explore the evolving regulatory framework around for-hire cargo delivery operations, and delve into the known risks and common challenging facing both regulators and potential operators.

Discussion: Global Integration – Getting on the Same Page

Aviation has always relied on international collaboration, forging connections and engaging in harmonization efforts across governments, industry, and international organizations, like ICAO and JARUS. In this session, representatives from around the world will share insights on the opportunities and challenges of this harmonization process, and will examine which standards and regulations the authorities should focus on to facilitate UAS operations across borders both in the short- and long-term.

Discussion: Improving the User Experience

UAS present issues of volume and pace that the FAA, and much of the aviation industry, have never experienced before – and this is particularly true of the FAA IT system. This breakout will highlight the Agency’s newly streamlined public interface, the FAA DroneZone, and outline future system deployments and enhancements designed to make doing business with the FAA faster and easier.

1035 – 1055 BREAK
1055 – 1145 Workshop: UAS Detection Technology

It’s one thing to know how to safely operate a UAS – but it’s just as important to be able to protect against errant or malicious operators. Over the past several years the federal government and industry partners have engaged in testing numerous UAS detection technology throughout the country. In this workshop, government representatives will discuss current technologies, limitations on applying them, lessons learned, and the path forward.

Workshop: Flying UAS in Emergencies and Disaster Response

This year’s hurricane season demonstrated the immense advantages to having UAS in your disaster response toolkit. This workshop will outline the process for getting emergency approval for using UAS during and in the immediate aftermath of disasters, including the Special Government Interest (SGI) process, flying in Temporary Flight Restrictions, and lessons learned for on-the-ground coordination.

Workshop: Submitting Airspace Waiver/Authorization Requests

Come learn best practices for requesting airspace authorizations and waivers for 107 operations through the FAA DroneZone and LAANC. This workshop will outline tips and tricks for applying for and complying with your waiver, and give examples of successful waivers and airspace authorizations.

1145 – 1205 BREAK
1205 – 1320 Luncheon Panel
1320 – 1340 BREAK
1340 – 1430 Workshop: Type Certification

Type certification is not just for manned aircraft – and is an important consideration for manufacturers seeking certification of their UAS beyond Part 107. This session will summarize the role of the operator, industry, and the civil authority in all four segments of UAS operations (non-commercial, part 107, airworthiness based on industry standards, and airworthiness based on full design/production certification by the civil authority) and provide insights into how to start the type certification process.

Workshop: Spectrum

The management and regulation of the use of radio frequencies is becoming more complex as technology rapidly expansions and as demand for wireless applications (cell phones and wireless broadband) continues to soar. At the same time, the safety of operating aviation systems remains of paramount importance. This workshop will explain what situations require spectrum considerations, and what an operator should consider in these cases.

Workshop: UAS Research – Who’s Doing What to Support Integration

What happens if a UAS hits a person? What are the newest advances in detect and avoid technology? How do we maintain and repair UAS safely? This session will outline the FAA’s research priorities in support of UAS integration, including the main actors and opportunities to get involved.

1430 – 1445 BREAK
1445 – 1535 Workshop: Experimental Special Airworthiness Certification

So beyond Part 107, what should UAS manufacturers do? Well for one they can obtain experimental certificates, which may be issued for the purposes of research and development, showing compliance with regulations, crew training, exhibition, and/or market survey. This workshop will detail the process for obtaining experimental certification and how it may be used.

Workshop: Part 137 Operator Certification

UAS are increasingly being used in Agricultural Aircraft Operations, including spraying pesticides for agriculture, nutrients for soil health, and for mosquito eradication programs. But the path to being able to spray pesticides is a complex one, requiring close interaction with the FAA. This workshop will detail the certification requirements, including the necessary exemptions from certain sections of parts 107 and 137, to conduct dispensing activities directly affecting agriculture, horticulture or forest preservation.

Workshop: Risk Mitigation in UAS Operations

The core mission of the FAA is safety and we accomplish that by developing procedures and processes to minimize risk. So how do these processes apply to UAS? How do we manage risk while providing a path forward for more complex (and riskier) operations? The FAA has established safety assurance processes for aircraft certification and operations, and safety expectations are applied using risk-based decision making. This session will detail those processes and how they apply to UAS. Attendees will gain background on how the FAA conducts safety analysis of UAS and their operations, and will go into more detail about risk and mitigations to focus on the role of the pilot, airworthiness, operating limitations, and the use of segregated airspace to mitigate risk.

1535 – 1545 BREAK
1545 – 1630 Symposium Recap & Closing