In the evolving landscape of aviation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken a proactive step by convening the UAS Detection and Mitigation Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), a pivotal move aimed at integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) safely and efficiently. Among the distinguished participants, Aloft Technologies, Inc. (Aloft), led by CEO Jon Hegranes, played an active role.

With a rich history of innovation and advocacy, Aloft stands at the forefront of this initiative, building on its experience from the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) ARC. This blog post delves into the ARC’s goals, Aloft’s contributions, and how together, they pave the way for a future where drones enhance our skies without compromising safety. Aloft’s commitment to enabling flight, integrating UAS into the NAS, and championing the rights of drone pilots underscores its dedication to shaping an inclusive and forward-thinking aviation ecosystem.

Aloft’s Role in the ARC

Aloft has played an active role in the UAS Detection and Mitigation Systems ARC, embodying a vision for the future where drones seamlessly integrate into the NAS. Leveraging their extensive experience participating in the BVLOS ARC, Aloft has brought invaluable insights into developing comprehensive UAS detection and mitigation strategies while advocating for pilots’ rights and equitable airspace access.

This participation highlights Aloft’s commitment to advancing drone technology and safety standards and underscores its dedication to advocating for the rights and interests of drone pilots. Through collaborative efforts within the ARC, Aloft continues to drive innovation, promote regulatory advancements, and ensure the safe expansion of UAS operations, aligning with their mission to enable more accessible and efficient flight paths for the drone community.

Key Points from the ARC Report

The full ARC report (which you can read here) includes detailed background information and content for the recommendations. Below we’ve summarized some of the key recommendations outlined in the report.

Policy Recommendations:
-Incorporate an understanding of the industry and its ecosystem into policy recommendations.
-Consider detection and mitigation components separately for policy purposes.
-Balance the benefits of D/M technology integration with its impact on the broader ecosystem.
-Balance D/M end-user safety and security with public privacy, environmental health, and civil liberties.

Risk Management Recommendations:
-Create an acceptable level of risk and safety framework for UAS D/M systems.
-Consider risks associated with certification, permission, authorization, or allowance of systems.
-Establish operating rules for D/M operators to minimize risks to the NAS and traditional air traffic operations.

System Standards Recommendation:
-Develop minimum performance standards (MPS) for UAS D/M systems.
-Evaluate and approve a set of D/M technologies for approved user selection.
-Develop detection-only system standards tailored to the airport environment.

Testing Recommendations:
-Enable and coordinate D/M systems testing across stakeholders.
-Develop criteria for D/M system and component efficacy testing.
-Expand testing programs to ensure systems meet acceptable performance standards.

Training Recommendation:
-Develop and maintain training requirements for safe deployment of D/M systems, differentiating based on operational environment needs.

Data Management Recommendations:
-Establish D/M system data retention protocols and support decentralized industry-led data access management.
-Ensure detection information correlates with identification data.
-Establish a Verified Operator Program (VOP) for quick identification of qualified UAS.
-The FAA should ensure that digital forms of airspace information are available to the public.
-The FAA should create a Remote ID incentive program.

System Acquisition and Deployment Recommendations:
-Facilitate the voluntary acquisition of detection systems and use structured evaluation for installation assessment.
-Develop a policy framework for D/M operational requirements and require system operators to develop coordination and communication plans.
-Maintain a flexible regulatory framework to accommodate increases in airspace usage and develop “rules of engagement” for C-UAS operations.

Aloft’s Takeaways

At Aloft, we’ll be looking to leverage these recommendations to further our mission to enable flight, integrate UAS into the NAS, and fight for drone pilots’ rights by:
Advocating for policies that reflect the interests of the drone community and promote the safe integration of UAS.
Participating in discussions and initiatives around risk management, system standards, and testing to ensure that new regulations and technologies align with Aloft’s vision and the drone communities we represent.
Engaging in training and data management discussions to ensure that operational practices and data protocols support drones’ safe and efficient use of airspace.
Collaborating with the FAA and other stakeholders to develop and refine operational requirements, communication plans, and regulatory frameworks that facilitate the growth and innovation of the UAS industry.


No ARC report is perfect. There are plenty of points here and there to quibble over, but generally, we found the ARC process thorough and transparent. There were ample sessions to discuss hot topics, such as geofencing. Also of note is that, unlike prior ARCs for Remote ID or BVLOS, there is no obvious or immediate rulemaking or regulation to follow. There are, however, key points of interest to Aloft and the massive network of drone pilots we represent.

Peppered throughout the ARC process and report are calls for UTM to make things like CUAS and Remote ID smarter. At Aloft, we’ll continue to push the envelope on these enabling technologies that enhance the robustness and capabilities of the airspace, but in such a way that is not costly or cumbersome for drone pilots to utilize.

Better data, digital solutions, and advanced technologies are needed to modernize aviation – not just for drones but for all aircraft, from commercial airlines to FPV drones, from AAM and air taxis to drones as first responder programs. Until that happens, one of our greatest national resources – the national airspace – will continue to be underutilized.