Drones & FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (FESSA)

By | March 2, 2021

It is properly called the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016. (“FESSA”)[1] but it has been colloquially called the “2016 FAA Reauthorization.” This Act needed to be passed because the current funding liabilities of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (“FMRA”) expire July 15, 2016, but the FESSA will extend funding to September 30, 2017.[2] 

There are many things the FESSA speaks to but for purposes of this post, I will be focusing only on the sections that pertain to unmanned aircraft.


Section 2201. Definitions. (Really Just Amendments to the FMRA Definitions)

The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (“FESSA”) added new material governing unmanned aircraft but also amended two sections of the FMRA that were applicable to unmanned aircraft. Section 2201 (definitions) is really just amending the definitions (Section 331) from the FMRA.  The original portions of the bill amending the language is clunky to read  (“amending – (1) in paragraph (6) by inserting ‘, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft’ after ’55 pounds’) so I just updated the definitions from Section 331 of the FMRA in this post to read correctly. Bold is new language and strikethrough is deleted lanugage. The actual raw text is located at the bottom.

Section 331 Definitions Amended:

Paragraph 6

The term ‘‘small unmanned aircraft’’ means an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft.

My Commentary: I think the reason why this was clarified was that many individuals who were new to unmanned aircraft did not understand the idea of max takeoff weight while Part 61 pilots already would. E.g. 14 C.F.R. § 1.1 says, “Small aircraft means aircraft of 12,500 pounds or less, maximum certificated takeoff weight.”

Paragraph 7

This paragraph was completely stricken and replaced with:

(7) TEST RANGE.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘test range’ means a defined geographic area where research and development are conducted as authorized by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(B) INCLUSIONS.—The term ‘test range’ includes any of the 6 test ranges established by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration under section 332(c), as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this subparagraph, and any public entity authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration as an unmanned aircraft system flight test center before January 1, 2009.

My Commentary: You might be wondering why the whole “before January 1, 2009” thing was included. Many people do not know that there was a FAA UAS test site BEFORE the creation of the FMRA and the 6 test sites that were designated under it. The New Mexico State University Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Test Center was created as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the FAA.

Section 332 Amended:

Section 332(c) of the FMRA was amended[1] to say:

ESTABLISHMENT.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish a program to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system at 6 test ranges. The program shall terminate 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act on September 30, 2019.

My Commentary: The program was only expected to go until 2017 but I guess Congress feels the FAA needs to do more testing.

Actual Text of Section 2201

SEC. 2201. DEFINITIONS.

(a) DEFINITIONS APPLIED.—In this subtitle, the terms ‘‘unmanned aircraft’’, ‘‘unmanned aircraft system’’, and ‘‘small unmanned aircraft’’ have the meanings given those terms in section 331 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note), as amended by this Act.

(b) FAA MODERNIZATION AND REFORM ACT.—Section 331 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (6) by inserting ‘‘, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft’’ after ‘‘55 pounds’’; and

(2) by striking paragraph (7) and inserting the  following:

(7) TEST RANGE.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘test range’ means a defined geographic area where research and development are conducted as authorized by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(B) INCLUSIONS.—The term ‘test range’ includes any of the 6 test ranges established by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Ad ministration under section 332(c), as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this subparagraph, and any public entity authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration as an unmanned aircraft system flight test center before January 1, 2009.’


Sec. 2202. Identification standards.

Actual Text:

<<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note. Consultation.>>

(a) In General.–The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, the President of RTCA, Inc., and the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall convene industry stakeholders to facilitate the development of consensus standards for remotely identifying operators and owners of unmanned aircraft systems and associated unmanned aircraft.

(b) Considerations.–As part of any standards developed under subsection (a), the Administrator shall ensure the consideration of–

(1) requirements for remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems;

(2) appropriate requirements for different classifications of unmanned aircraft systems operations, including public and civil; and (3) the feasibility of the development and operation of a publicly accessible online database of unmanned aircraft and the operators thereof, and any criteria for exclusion from the database.

(c) <<NOTE: Reports.>> Deadline.–Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on any standards developed under subsection (a).

(d) <<NOTE: Deadline. Regulations.>> Guidance.–Not later than 1 year after the date on which the Administrator submits the report under subsection (c), the Administrator shall issue regulations or guidance, as appropriate, based on any standards developed under subsection (a).

My Commentary:

This is a really important section for remote identification. The FAA failed to do this. The FAA actually fired RTCA and created the FAA remote ID and tracking aviation rulemaking committee (remote ID ARC).


Sec. 2203. Safety statements.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2203. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note. Effective date.>> SAFETY STATEMENTS.

(a) Required Information.–Beginning on the date that is 1 year after the date of publication of the guidance under subsection (b)(1), a manufacturer of a small unmanned aircraft shall make available to the owner at the time of delivery of the small unmanned aircraft the safety statement described in subsection (b)(2).

(b) Safety Statement.–

(1) <<NOTE: Deadline. Guidance.>> In general.–Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue guidance for implementing this section.

(2) Requirements.–A safety statement required under subsection (a) shall include–

(A) information about, and sources of, laws and regulations applicable to small unmanned aircraft;

(B) <<NOTE: Recommendations.>> recommendations for using small unmanned aircraft in a manner that promotes the safety of persons and property;

(C) the date that the safety statement was created or last modified; and

(D) language approved by the Administrator regarding the following:

(i) A person may operate the small unmanned aircraft as a model aircraft (as defined in section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note)) or otherwise in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration authorization or regulation, including requirements for the completion of any applicable airman test.

(ii) The definition of a model aircraft under section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(iii) The requirements regarding the operation of a model aircraft under section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(iv) The Administrator may pursue enforcement action against a person operating model aircraft who endangers the safety of the national airspace system.

(c) Civil Penalty.–A person who violates subsection (a) shall be liable for each violation to the United States Government for a civil penalty described in section 46301(a) of title 49, United States Code.


Sec. 2204. Facilitating interagency cooperation for unmanned aircraft authorization in support of firefighting operations and utility restoration.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2204. <<NOTE: Contracts. 49 USC 40101 note.>> FACILITATING INTERAGENCY COOPERATION FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT AUTHORIZATION IN SUPPORT OF FIREFIGHTING OPERATIONS AND UTILITY RESTORATION.

(a) Firefighting Operations.–The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall enter into agreements with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, as necessary, to continue the expeditious authorization of safe unmanned aircraft system operations in support of firefighting operations consistent with the requirements of section 334(c) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(b) Utility Restoration.–The Administrator shall enter into agreements with the Secretary of Energy and with such other agencies or parties, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as are necessary to facilitate the expeditious authorization of safe unmanned aircraft system operations in support of service restoration efforts of utilities.

(c) Definition of Utility.–In this section, the term “utility” shall at a minimum include the definition in section 3(4) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2602(4)).


Sec. 2205. Interference with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort by operation of unmanned aircraft.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2205. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note.>> INTERFERENCE WITH WILDFIRE SUPPRESSION, LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR EMERGENCY RESPONSE EFFORT BY OPERATION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT.

(a) In General.–Chapter 463 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“Sec. 46320. <<NOTE: 49 USC 46320.>> Interference with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort by operation of unmanned aircraft

“(a) In General.–Except as provided in subsection (b), an individual who operates an unmanned aircraft and in so doing knowingly or recklessly interferes with a wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $20,000.

“(b) Exceptions.–This section does not apply to the operation of an unmanned aircraft conducted by a unit or agency of the United States Government or of a State, tribal, or local government (including any individual conducting such operation pursuant to a contract or other agreement entered into with the unit or agency) for the purpose of protecting the public safety and welfare, including firefighting, law enforcement, or emergency response.

“(c) Compromise and Setoff.–

“(1) Compromise.–The United States Government may compromise the amount of a civil penalty imposed under this section.

“(2) Setoff.–The United States Government may deduct the amount of a civil penalty imposed or compromised under this section from the amounts the Government owes the person liable for the penalty.

“(d) Definitions.–In this section, the following definitions apply:

“(1) Wildfire.–The term `wildfire’ has the meaning given that term in section 2 of the Emergency Wildfire Suppression Act (42 U.S.C. 1856m).

“(2) Wildfire suppression.–The term `wildfire suppression’ means an effort to contain, extinguish, or suppress a wildfire.”.

(b) FAA To Impose Civil Penalty.–Section 46301(d)(2) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting

“section 46320,” after “section 46319,”.

(c) Clerical Amendment.–The analysis for chapter 463 of title 49, United States Code, <<NOTE: 49 USC prec. 46301.>> is amended by adding at the end the following:

“46320. Interference with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort by operation of unmanned aircraft.”.


Sec. 2206. Pilot project for airport safety and airspace hazard mitigation.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2206. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note.>> PILOT PROJECT FOR AIRPORT SAFETY AND AIRSPACE HAZARD MITIGATION.

(a) In General.–The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a pilot program for airspace hazard mitigation at airports and other critical infrastructure using unmanned aircraft detection systems.

(b) Consultation.–In carrying out the pilot program under subsection (a), the Administrator shall work with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies for the purpose of ensuring that technologies that are developed, tested, or deployed by those departments and agencies to mitigate threats posed by errant or hostile unmanned aircraft system operations do not adversely impact or interfere with safe airport operations, navigation, air traffic services, or the safe and efficient operation of the national airspace system.

(c) Authorization of Appropriations.–There is authorized to be appropriated from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to carry out this section $6,000,000, to remain available until expended.

(d) Authority.–After the pilot program established under subsection (a) ceases to be effective pursuant to subsection (g), the Administrator may use unmanned aircraft detection systems to detect and mitigate the unauthorized operation of an unmanned aircraft that poses a risk to aviation safety.

(e) Report.–

(1) In general.–Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the results of the pilot program established under subsection (a).

(2) Contents.–The report required under paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) The number of unauthorized unmanned aircraft operations detected, together with a description of such operations.

(B) The number of instances in which unauthorized unmanned aircraft were mitigated, together with a description of such instances.

(C) The number of enforcement cases brought by the Federal Aviation Administration for unauthorized operation of unmanned aircraft detected through the pilot program, together with a description of such cases.

(D) The number of any technical failures in the pilot program, together with a description of such failures.

(E) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>> Recommendations for safety and operational standards for unmanned aircraft detection systems.

(F) The feasibility of deployment of the systems at other airports.

(3) <<NOTE: Classified information.>> Format.–To the extent practicable, the report prepared under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in a classified format. If appropriate, the report may include an unclassified summary.

(f) Sunset.–The pilot program established under subsection (a) shall cease to be effective on the earlier of– (1) the date that is 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act; and (2) the date of the submission of the report under subsection (e).


Sec. 2207. Emergency exemption process.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2207. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note. Deadline. Publication. Guidance. Procedures. Certification. Waiver authority.>> EMERGENCY EXEMPTION PROCESS.

(a) In General.–Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall publish guidance for applications for, and procedures for the processing of, on an emergency basis, exemptions or certificates of authorization or waiver for the use of unmanned aircraft systems by civil or public operators in response to a catastrophe, disaster, or other emergency to facilitate emergency response operations, such as firefighting, search and rescue, and utility and infrastructure restoration efforts. In processing such applications, the Administrator shall give priority to applications for public unmanned aircraft systems engaged in emergency response activities.

(b) Requirements.–In providing guidance under subsection (a), the Administrator shall–

(1) make explicit any safety requirements that must be met for the consideration of applications that include requests for beyond visual line of sight or nighttime operations, or the suspension of otherwise applicable operating restrictions, consistent with public interest and safety; and

(2) explicitly state the procedures for coordinating with an incident commander, if any, to ensure operations granted under procedures developed under subsection (a) do not interfere with other emergency response efforts.

(c) Review.–In processing applications on an emergency basis for exemptions or certificates of authorization or waiver for unmanned aircraft systems operations in response to a catastrophe, disaster, or other emergency, the Administrator shall act on such applications as expeditiously as practicable and without requiring public notice and comment.


Sec. 2208. Unmanned aircraft systems traffic management.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2208. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note.>> UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT.

(a) Research Plan for UTM Development and Deployment.–

(1) <<NOTE: Coordination.>> In general.–The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (in this section referred to as the “Administrator”), in coordination with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, shall continue development of a research plan for unmanned aircraft systems traffic management (in this section referred to as “UTM”) development and deployment.

(2) Requirements.–In developing the research plan, the Administrator shall–

(A) identify research outcomes sought; and

(B) ensure the plan is consistent with existing regulatory and operational frameworks, and considers potential future regulatory and operational frameworks, for unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system.

(3) Assessment.–The research plan shall include an assessment of the interoperability of a UTM system with existing and potential future air traffic management systems and processes.

(4) Deadlines.–The Administrator shall–

(A) initiate development of the research plan not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act; and

(B) not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act–

(i) complete the research plan;

(ii) submit the research plan to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and

(iii) <<NOTE: Web posting.>> publish the research plan on the Internet Web site of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(b) Pilot Program.–

(1) <<NOTE: Deadline. Coordination.>> In general.–Not later than 90 days after the date of submission of the research plan under subsection (a)(4)(B), the Administrator, in coordination with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Drone Advisory Committee, the research advisory committee established by section 44508(a) of title 49, United States Code, and representatives of the unmanned aircraft industry, shall establish a UTM system pilot program.

(2) Sunset.–Not later than 2 years after the date of establishment of the pilot program, the Administrator shall conclude the pilot program.

(c) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> Updates.–Not later than 180 days after the date of establishment of the pilot program, and every 180 days thereafter until the date of conclusion of the pilot program, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives an update on the status and progress of the pilot program.


Sec. 2209. Applications for designation.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2209. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note. Deadline.>> APPLICATIONS FOR DESIGNATION.

(a) Applications for Designation.–Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall establish a process to allow applicants to petition the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to prohibit or restrict the operation of an unmanned aircraft in close proximity to a fixed site facility.

(b) Review Process.–

(1) Application procedures.–

(A) In general.–The Administrator shall establish the procedures for the application for designation under subsection (a).

(B) Requirements.–The procedures shall allow operators or proprietors of fixed site facilities to apply for designation individually or collectively.

(C) Considerations.–Only the following may be considered fixed site facilities:

(i) Critical infrastructure, such as energy production, transmission, and distribution facilities and equipment.

(ii) Oil refineries and chemical facilities.

(iii) Amusement parks.

(iv) Other locations that warrant such restrictions.

(2) Determination.–

(A) <<NOTE: Deadline. Notice.>> In general.–The Secretary shall provide for a determination under the review process established under subsection (a) not later than 90 days after the date of application, unless the applicant is provided with written notice describing the reason for the delay.

(B) Affirmative designations.–An affirmative designation shall outline–

(i) the boundaries for unmanned aircraft operation near the fixed site facility; and

(ii) such other limitations that the Administrator determines may be appropriate.

(C) Considerations.–In making a determination whether to grant or deny an application for a designation, the Administrator may consider–

(i) aviation safety;

(ii) protection of persons and property on the ground;

(iii) national security; or (iv) homeland security.

(D) Opportunity for resubmission.–If an application is denied, and the applicant can reasonably address the reason for the denial, the Administrator may allow the applicant to reapply for designation.

(c) <<NOTE: Web posting.>> Public Information.–Designations under subsection (a) shall be published by the Federal Aviation Administration on a publicly accessible website.

(d) Savings Clause.–Nothing in this section may be construed as prohibiting the Administrator from authorizing operation of an aircraft, including an unmanned aircraft system, over, under, or within a specified distance from that fixed site facility designated under subsection (b).


Sec. 2210. Operations associated with critical infrastructure.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2210. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note.>> OPERATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE.

(a) In General.–Any application process established under section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) shall allow for a person to apply to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to operate an unmanned aircraft system, for purposes of conducting an activity described in subsection (b)– (1) beyond the visual line of sight of the individual operating the unmanned aircraft system; and (2) during the day or at night.

(b) Activities Described.–The activities described in this subsection are–

(1) activities for which manned aircraft may be used to comply with Federal, State, or local laws, including– (A) activities to ensure compliance with Federal or State regulatory, permit, or other requirements, including to conduct surveys associated with applications for permits for new pipeline or pipeline systems construction or maintenance or rehabilitation of existing pipelines or pipeline systems; and (B) activities relating to ensuring compliance with–

(i) parts 192 and 195 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(ii) the requirements of any Federal, State, or local governmental or regulatory body, or industry best practice, pertaining to the construction, ownership, operation, maintenance, repair, or replacement of covered facilities;

(2) activities to inspect, repair, construct, maintain, or protect covered facilities, including for the purpose of responding to a pipeline, pipeline system, or electric energy infrastructure incident; and

(3) activities in response to or in preparation for a natural disaster, manmade disaster, severe weather event, or other incident beyond the control of the applicant that may cause material damage to a covered facility.

(c) <<NOTE: Applicability.>> Definitions.–In this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Covered facility.–The term “covered facility” means–

(A) a pipeline or pipeline system;

(B) an electric energy generation, transmission, or distribution facility (including a renewable electric energy facility);

(C) an oil or gas production, refining, or processing facility; or

(D) any other critical infrastructure facility.

(2) Critical infrastructure.–The term “critical infrastructure” has the meaning given that term in section 2339D of title 18, United States Code.

(d) Deadlines.–

(1) Certification to congress.–Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a certification that a process has been established to facilitate applications for unmanned aircraft systems operations described in this section.

(2) Failure to meet certification deadline.–If the Administrator cannot provide a certification under paragraph (1), the Administrator, not later than 180 days after the deadline specified in paragraph (1), shall update the process under section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) to facilitate applications for unmanned aircraft systems operations described in this section.

(e) Exemptions.–In addition to the operations described in this section, the Administrator may authorize, exempt, or otherwise allow other unmanned aircraft systems operations under section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) that are conducted beyond the visual line of sight of the individual operating the unmanned aircraft system or during the day or at night.


Sec. 2211. Unmanned aircraft systems research and development roadmap.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2211. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note.>> UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ROADMAP. Section 332(a)(5) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended–

(1) by inserting “, in coordination with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and relevant stakeholders, including those in industry and academia,” after “update”; and

(2) by inserting after “annually.” the following: “The roadmap shall include, at a minimum–

“(A) <<NOTE: Cost estimates.>> cost estimates, planned schedules, and performance benchmarks, including specific tasks, milestones, and timelines, for unmanned aircraft systems integration into the national airspace system, including an identification of–

“(i) the role of the unmanned aircraft systems test ranges established under subsection (c) and the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence;

“(ii) performance objectives for unmanned aircraft systems that operate in the national airspace system; and

“(iii) research and development priorities for tools that could assist air traffic controllers as unmanned aircraft systems are integrated into the national airspace system, as appropriate;

“(B) a description of how the Administration plans to use research and development, including research and development conducted through NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management initiatives, to accommodate, integrate, and provide for the evolution of unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system;

“(C) <<NOTE: Assessment.>> an assessment of critical performance abilities necessary to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system, and how these performance abilities can be demonstrated; and “(D) an update on the advancement of technologies needed to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system, including decisionmaking by adaptive systems, such as sense-and-avoid capabilities and cyber physical systems security.”.


Sec. 2212. Unmanned aircraft systems-manned aircraft collision research.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2212. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note.>> UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS-MANNED AIRCRAFT COLLISION RESEARCH.

(a) <<NOTE: Coordination. Testing.>> Research.–The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (in this section referred to as the “Administrator”), in continuation of ongoing work, shall coordinate with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to develop a program to conduct comprehensive testing or modeling of unmanned aircraft systems colliding with various sized aircraft in various operational settings, as considered appropriate by the Administrator, including–

(1) collisions between unmanned aircraft systems of various sizes, traveling at various speeds, and jet aircraft of various sizes, traveling at various speeds;

(2) collisions between unmanned aircraft systems of various sizes, traveling at various speeds, and propeller-driven aircraft of various sizes, traveling at various speeds;

(3) collisions between unmanned aircraft systems of various sizes, traveling at various speeds, and rotorcraft of various sizes, traveling at various speeds; and

(4) collisions between unmanned aircraft systems and various parts of the aforementioned aircraft, including–

(A) windshields;

(B) noses;

(C) engines;

(D) radomes;

(E) propellers; and

(F) wings.

(b) Report.–Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report summarizing the costs and results of research under this section.


Sec. 2213. Probabilistic metrics research and development study.

Actual Text:

SEC. 2213. <<NOTE: 49 USC 40101 note.>> PROBABILISTIC METRICS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STUDY.

(a) <<NOTE: Deadline. Contracts.>> Study.–Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall enter into an arrangement with the National Academies to study the potential use of probabilistic assessments of risks by the Administration to streamline the integration of unmanned  aircraft systems into the national airspace system, including any research and development necessary.

(b) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Completion Date.–Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall provide the results of the study to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

[1] Section 1 (a).

[2] Section 1101(b); 1102(d),