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 Delaware River and Bay Authority Statement on Delaware H.B. 195

(New Castle, DE) The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) is a bi-state agency that operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry System, the Forts Ferry Crossing, as well as five regional aviation facilities, including the Wilmington-Philadelphia Regional Airport located in New Castle, DE. The DRBA has two primary missions: providing vital transportation links between the states of Delaware and New Jersey and participating in economic development ventures in Delaware and the four southern counties of New Jersey.

As such, the DRBA is in a unique position relative to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). As both the operator of critical infrastructure and a potential end user of UAS technology, the DRBA has been closely monitoring the growth of UAS operations over the past several years.

The DRBA believes Delaware H.B. 195 strikes the proper balance between ensuring safe operations and promoting growth of this industry which is projected to have an economic impact of $103 million in Delaware by 2025, according to a 2013 study by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

“The UAS industry is developing within Delaware and the mid-Atlantic region. Innovators in this industry will understand if States take reasonable action to augment FAA regulations and protect first responders. Unfortunately, some States have allowed so many different regulations that startups and new technology companies can barely keep them straight. With the passage of H.B. 195, Delaware has stepped forward to clarify and support safe and proper UAS operations. State preemption of local ordinances will ensure that UAS operators who comply with FAA rules will have only one set of rules for flying within Delaware,” said Scott Green, Executive Director.

“Limiting UAS flights over critical infrastructure and incidents involving first responders to those authorized by and in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, will enable the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace,” said Steve Williams, Director of Airports. “This is a very positive action for both the aviation community and the economic development community.”

H.B. 195 puts Delaware in the forefront of states supporting this emerging and beneficial technology.

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PDF of Statement