ICYMI: Sullivan Convenes Hearing on Drone Security

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Security, yesterday convened a hearing on drone security. The hearing examined threats and challenges posed by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including the status of UAS detection and mitigation technology and capabilities. The hearing also examined the legal and regulatory authorities granted to government agencies to mitigate UAS threats, and recent deployments of UAS detection and mitigation technologies.

“Drones have the potential for huge societal benefits, whether it’s safety, getting to remote areas, or examining critical infrastructure. But, like any important technology, these devices can also be used in ways that create challenges or opportunities for nefarious activities,” Senator Sullivan said. “In order to realize a future which safely and effectively integrates drones into the national airspace, a robust and reliable counter-UAS framework needs to be in place in order to protect critical infrastructure, population centers, and personal and corporate privacy. The first step in this process is to ensure that federal, state, and local agencies have the tools they need to execute counter-UAS operations.” 

Senator Sullivan also highlighted the security threats posed by the current supply chain of drones. 

“It’s critical that we enhance and encourage domestic manufacturing of these drone systems, as well as risk-based approaches to government use of foreign manufactured drones, so that we can fully and safely exploit the benefits that drones present while not sacrificing security or privacy,” Sullivan added.

The panel of witnesses included:

  • Dr. Catherine Cahill, director of the Alaska Center for UAS Integration at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • Harold Shaw, chief security officer and director of the Corporate Security and Emergency Preparedness Department for the Massachusetts Port Authority.
  • Angela Stubblefield, deputy associate administrator of the Office of Security and Hazardous Materials at the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Harry Wingo, faculty at the National Defense University’s College of Information and Cyberspace.
  • Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

To watch the full hearing, click here

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