NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB TO HOLD SAFETY FORUM ON UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

March 3, 2008

Washington, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day forum on the safety of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).  The forum will be convened April 29-30 in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center in Washington.  The forum will provide an opportunity for the Board and interested parties to understand the safety implications presented by the growing use of UAS in the National Airspace System.

Issues addressed will include:

- Regulatory standards,
- Integration with the National Airspace System,
- Perspectives of current UAS operators,
- Design, certification and airworthiness,
- Human factors,
- Future UAS applications and perspectives of current
  users of the National Airspace System.

The forum is a result of the Safety Board's investigation into a Predator B unmanned aircraft that crashed near Nogales, Arizona, in April 2006.   The Board's October 2007 meeting on this accident resulted in 22 safety recommendations to address deficiencies associated with the civilian use of unmanned aircraft.

"The Nogales accident surfaced a number of important questions that need to be addressed if UAS's are to operate safely in the National Air Space," said Board Member Kitty Higgins, who will chair the forum. "We are very interested in the military's experience with UAS's, training of pilots, maintenance of the aircraft, communication with Air Traffic Control and oversight of UAS operations by public use agencies and other operators."

The forum will include representatives from the military, industry, the FAA, and government agencies involved in UAS operations. Interested members of the aviation community and general public are encouraged to attend.  A forum agenda will be announced by press release in mid-April.

Representatives from the UAS industry are invited to set up display booths and unmanned aircraft vehicle scale models that demonstrate unmanned aircraft systems and technologies.  Display space is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis. 

Organizations interested in setting up a display should contact Mr. Daniel Bartlett at the NTSB at daniel.bartlett@ntsb.gov with their specific requirements no later than March 28, 2008.  Requests for display space after this date cannot be accommodated.

NTSB Media Contact:
Peter Knudson
(202)314-6100
peter.knudson@ntsb.gov

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.