Sens Inhofe, Manchin Announce UAS Caucus; Michael Toscano Comments

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Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), both members of the Armed Services Committee, have formed an unmanned aerial systems caucus to shape policy and inform other lawmakers about UAS technology.

Inhofe’s office said the bipartisan UAS Caucus will serve as a venue to discuss and vet these issues and will work in coordination with federal agencies, industries, and stakeholders.

Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, said in a statement the association will work with this caucus in a similar manner to the House Unmanned Systems Caucus.

The AUVSI will “work with the Senate and stakeholders on the important issues that face the unmanned systems community as the expanded use of the technology transitions to the civil and commercial markets,” Toscano said.

The trade association recently released a code of conduct for UAV manufacturers, designed to serve as a checklist.

“It’s important for all of us to understand how we can use this advancing technology to strengthen our national security and improve our ability to respond in case of natural or man-made disasters, while at the same time ensuring the privacy of all of our law-abiding American citizens,” Manchin said.

“One of the purposes of this caucus is to ensure we address these risks and protect Americans’ constitutional rights, while also proving a way forward with UAS operations that improves our national security and emergency and disaster response,” Inhofe said.

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