National Capital Region Public Safety Agencies Attend the Federal Aviation Administration Unmanned Aerial Systems Symposium

In June and September 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hosted its annual Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Symposium, a two-part event sponsored in partnership with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Due to ongoing public health concerns, the FAA conducted the 2021 symposium in a fully virtual format, allowing attendees to access sessions at their convenience during, and after the conclusion of, the event.

The 2021 FAA UAS Symposium aimed to connect enterprise UAS operators, as well as commercial and recreational remote pilots, directly with the regulators who enable drone integration into the National Airspace System. The symposium provided attendees the opportunity to learn, train, and troubleshoot problems with other members of the UAS community to ensure their operations remain safe and continue to grow along with new regulations.

Montgomery County UAS pilots operating in a practice environment.

Within the Maryland-National Capital Region, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties continue to make great strides in the development and implementation of their respective UAS programs. Currently, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency management agencies in Montgomery County are crafting and implementing training programs to operationalize UAS into emergency response. In Prince George’s County, the police department leads the UAS program and is actively procuring UAS equipment while concurrently designing its training program. To facilitate this process for the counties, the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) sponsored the attendance of nine personnel from both jurisdictions, as well as two MDERS staff members.

Attendees at this year’s symposium rated the event highly, stating that:

  • “The FAA Symposium was a great event that allowed me to to learn more about safe operations without waivers under the new operating laws for UAS beyond visible line of sight. This will directly benefit operations within my jurisdiction.”
  • “The FAA Symposium remains a very important event that allows attendees to hear directly from the FAA on new laws/regulations and what we should expect in the future.”

To learn more about the FAA UAS Symposium and view proceedings from past events, please visit the following link: