Erik Dullea, Esq., UAS Colorado with Husch Blackwell, stated that the 1,000 members of his organization support the Uniform Tort Law Relating to Drones Act scheduled to be up on final reading at this year's annual conference. He encouraged the commission to vote in favor of the final draft without change. The act complies with FAA trespass and safety regulations and regulates unmanned aircraft the same as manned aircraft. UAS Colorado encouraged the commissioners to leave the act's privacy issues to be decided locally as Colorado has enacted substantive data privacy laws. The unmanned aircraft (UA) industry's commercial applications are developing rapidly, especially in regards to providing necessary health services. In Colorado, there are more than 4,500 commercial drone pilots. Currently, Colorado is ranked seventh in the nation in the number of licensed commercial drone pilots. Nationally, there are about 135,000 licensed commercial pilots with the number of licensed professional drones expected to reach 400,000. In addition, the FAA estimates that there are 1.3 million registered recreational devises nationwide.
Vic Moss, UAS Colorado legislative board member and FAA Drone Advisory Council Task Force member, flies drones for a living and has been actively involved in the drafting process on this uniform act for the past 18 months. The drafting committee made reasonable compromises to address concerns raised during the drafting process and feels that any lingering concerns on repeated flights, immediate reach, and substantial interference no longer apply. The final version is a very workable act and is embraced by the vast majority of the committee members and the UAS community. Mr. Moss strongly encouraged the commission to approve the act as drafted.
The commission thanked Mr. Dullea and Mr. Moss for their testimony and had questions regarding possible opponents to the act. Both men indicated that they would assist the commission in determining stakeholders.