On the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

Jen Colton | Oct 11th, 2018

On October the 5th, 2018, President Trump signed into law the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. This bill marks an important moment in history as it gives law enforcement and certain government agencies the authority and clarity around removing threatening drones that we in the airspace safety industry have been pushing for.


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New key provisions include: ‘‘Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018’’ (previously S. 2836) which gives the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice authority to counter drones that pose a credible threat to covered facilities or assets.

Among the covered facilities (sports arenas, concert halls, power plants, energy facilities and more), are what the bill describes as missions associated with things like Border Patrol, mass gatherings, and security around emergency services, such as forest fire containment and the like.


Another key provision is around the exemption of hobbyist drone operators from FAA regulation. What this means is that hobbyist operators must pass “an aeronautical knowledge and safety test” and maintain “proof of test passage to be made available to the Administrator or law enforcement upon request.”


This is good news, and a much needed update to our legislation. On Wednesday, October 9th, FBI director Wray again testified before Congress to say that the threat of a terror attack by drone or drones is “steadily escalating”.

He further commented that the recent publicity surrounding the failed drone assassination attempt of Venezuelan President Maduro has escalated the threat. Giving clear authority to government agencies and law enforcement is a much needed step in the right direction toward helping thwart a potential drone attack on the US.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying on national security threats before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on October 9th, 2018.

Yet the most successful means to ensure safety is through a public-private partnership that engages the resources and technological advancements of private sector airspace security solutions.

At Fortem, we strive to bring the best in class solutions to security professionals and authorities who are responsible for public safety and for protection our national infrastructure and resources.

Next Up: Dark Drones - the next big threat to airspace safety and security.


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Jen is an executive-level communications strategist and adviser who has helped numerous companies and individuals elevate their story and amplify their brand. She has steered companies through crisis communications, framed compelling executive and entrepreneur leadership stories and distilled complex corporate business challenges for a broad spectrum of audiences. At Fortem Jen oversees public relations and executive communications.