The bill is a response to the following developments:
1) Unmanned aircraft systems have the potential to change and transform sectors of the United States economy.
(2) Advanced air mobility aims to transform the way people and goods are transported through new capabilities and applications.
(3) Current uses and applications of unmanned aircraft systems and advanced air mobility include agriculture, transportation, law enforcement, public safety, disaster evaluation and response, fire detection, border security, weather forecasting, construction, utility monitoring, and many other uses and applications.
(3) Research, development, demonstration, testing, and evaluation of counter-UAS systems and detection systems activities are critical to fully understand the capabilities of and threats posed by unmanned aircraft systems.
(4) Unmanned aircraft systems and advanced air mobility systems are subject to safety, privacy, cybersecurity, and supply chain risks, particularly as most unmanned aircraft systems in the United States are manufactured or assembled from parts manufactured in foreign countries.
(5) National and homeland security threats posed by unmanned aircraft systems and advanced air mobility systems include criminal and terrorist use for espionage, surveillance, and intelligence gathering, smuggling drugs and contraband, and platforms to deliver explosives or chemicals, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons, and other firearms.
(6) The Federal Government has an important role in advancing research, development, voluntary consensus technical standards, and education activities in advanced air mobility and unmanned aircraft systems technologies through coordination and collaboration between State, local, Federal, and Tribal governments, academia, and the private sector.
(7) There is a lack of voluntary consensus technical standards for unmanned aircraft systems and advanced air mobility for academia and the public and private sectors.
(8) The United States needs to invest in domestic manufacturing and secure supply chains of unmanned aircraft systems and advanced air mobility systems to meet the demand by the Government and the commercial sectors, to reduce reliance on foreign-made systems.
The purpose of the bill is to ensure United States leadership in advanced air mobility and unmanned aircraft systems, and maximize benefits and mitigate risks of such systems by:
(1) supporting research, development, demonstration, testing, and transition to operations of secure advanced air mobility systems and unmanned aircraft systems, including research and development to accelerate integration of such systems into the National Airspace System;
(2) improving the interagency planning and coordination of Federal research and development of advanced air mobility and unmanned aircraft systems and maximizing the effectiveness of the Federal Government’s advanced air mobility and next generation unmanned aircraft systems research and development programs;
(3) promoting research and development collaboration among the Federal Government, State, local, and Tribal governments, National Laboratories, industry, and academic institutions;
(4) promoting domestic manufacturing of unmanned aircraft systems and mitigating supply chain risks;
(5) supporting activities to mitigate risks to public safety and national security and homeland security, including through response to disasters;
(6) preparing the present and future United States workforce for the integration of advanced air mobility and unmanned aircraft systems across sectors of the economy, including through support for curriculum development and research opportunities;
(7) supporting research, development, demonstration, and testing of civilian applications of unmanned aerial systems, including improved safety and sustainability of ground transportation, environmental monitoring, and disaster response;
(8) promoting research and development collaboration among the Federal Government, State, local, and Tribal governments, National Laboratories, industry, and academic institutions;
(9) promoting the development of voluntary consensus technical standards and best practices for advanced air mobility and unmanned aircraft systems; and
(5) applying lessons learned from unmanned aircraft systems research, development, demonstration, and testing to advanced air mobility systems.
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