November 22, 2017 -- The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force (UASTF) released a report of recommendations it presented to Gov. Rick Snyder and to the state Legislature regarding unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones. The report presents a desire to have a regulatory environment, which respects state and federal areas of authority, but also establishes Michigan as a welcoming location to test, develop, and deploy this technology.
The 27-member task force was established by Public Act 436 of 2016 when it was signed into law by the governor on Jan. 3, 2017.
"As the use of drones becomes more popular for commercial and recreational use, it is critically important that we develop a statewide policy to ensure the safety of Michiganders while still allowing the creative freedom necessary for developing new applications for this technology, " Snyder said. "I appreciate the work this task force has done and look forward to working with my legislative partners to implement their recommendations."
The task force agreed that Michigan is well-positioned to capitalize on the numerous benefits of UAS to be fully realized whether for commercial use, aiding the mission of public agencies, or simply the enjoyment by recreational enthusiasts. At the same time, the task force found there needs to be clear standards for special situations for public safety and protection of personal privacy.
"I would like to thank the members and staff of the task force," said Mike Trout, MDOT Office of Aeronautics executive administrator and UASTF chair. "The task force members recognize that public awareness for all users will be essential to prevent misunderstandings, inadvertent violations of laws, and potentially dangerous situations. A robust education effort will be a necessary compliment to the regulatory framework."
Here is a summary of the proposed state of Michigan UASTF recommendations:
Expand the mission of the American Center for Mobility (ACM) to include Unmanned and Autonomous Aerial Vehicles and Systems.
The full text of the report is available on the MDOT website.