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Congress and FAA Must Act to Address National Security Risks Posed by Drones

Scott Jensen

With nearly one million registered drones America’s skies are growing more crowded and potentially more dangerous. Policymakers cannot overlook the increased safety and security risks associated with drones, particularly when it comes to critical infrastructure.

That’s why the American Chemistry Council along with several other groups sent a letter urging Senate leadership to include important drone safeguards when reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Specifically, we’re calling on Congress to require the FAA to complete new rules to help protect oil refineries, chemical facilities and other critical infrastructure before allowing drones to transport hazardous materials, including ammunition.

Congress previously mandated FAA to establish a process for facilities to apply for airspace restrictions or drone prohibitions near critical infrastructure. This rulemaking is long past due, which is forcing the country to rely on a patchwork of state laws to address the threat and leaving a major gap in national security. 

It is irresponsible to allow drones to transport hazardous materials before securing the airspace around the nation’s critical infrastructure.

ACC’s Vice President of Federal Affairs, Ryan Jackson summed it up best by saying “Drones have almost limitless potential to help with a variety tasks, but they must be operated responsibly and safely. The FAA and Congress must put protections in place to help keep our skies safe and secure.”

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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