WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) praised Senate adoption of amendment #3492 to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act (H.R. 636). The Inhofe-Booker amendment was adopted by voice vote Monday evening and would ensure operators of critical infrastructure are able to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to assist with compliance of federal regulations and to respond to natural disasters.
“I applaud the Senate for its overwhelming support of our bipartisan, common-sense amendment that would give companies the ability to use drones for the purpose of maintaining their vast network of critical infrastructure,” said Inhofe. "With this amendment, those who are responsible for large-scale infrastructure – whether it be roads or power plants — will be able to leverage technological advancements to safely and efficiently maintain and deliver their services to Americans across the nation.”
“I am encouraged by the Senate’s adoption of our amendment which brings us one step closer to unlocking the potential of UAS technology,” said Booker, author of the Commercial UAS Modernization Act. “From inspecting pipelines to protecting energy resources, this amendment will allow the FAA to establish clear rules of the road and safety guidelines to allow our country to reap the benefits of this technology.”
Inhofe and Booker first introduced amendment #3492 on April 6 with support from the following outside groups: the Small UAV Coalition, the National Rural Electric Cooperatives, the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, CTIA - The Wireless Association, the American Gas Association, the American Public Gas Association, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipelines, the American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers, 3D Robotics and the American Wind Energy Association.