This week, Oregonian, Kenji Sugahara, President and Chief Executive Officer, Drone Service Providers Alliance and founder of Ariascend, was appointed by the US Department of Transportation to serve on the FAA Drone Advisory Committee.
Kenji is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Oregon School of Law. As an attorney, he played a critical role in the FAA’s 2017 Remote ID and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee. As a full member he helped author the Technology Workgroup’s report and helped write the final report. In early 2017, he wrote a white-paper on Remote Identification and Tracking of UAS that will likely serve as a foundational element of the broadcast technology for FAA rulemaking on Remote ID and Tracking. Kenji was recently accepted as a Producer for ASTM F38.02. He currently works advising numerous state agencies and local municipalities on drone issues. He also sits on the UAS stakeholder group that advises the Oregon Legislature on UAS issues. A prolific writer, he has written a number of articles for trade groups that utilize UAS.
His passion for unmanned aerial systems began over 6 years ago. As a drone operator he has gained a reputation for excellence that include a number of firsts. His operations included the first operation ever inside a state capitol building, and the first commercially permitted UAS operations at Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows on Mt. Hood.
This week the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced new appointments to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Drone Advisory Committee or DAC. “The Drone Advisory Committee is key to helping the FAA keep pace with innovation while protecting safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Members are executives who represent a variety of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) interests, including industry, research, academia, retail, technology, and state and local government.
The DAC is a broad-based, long-term federal advisory committee that provides the FAA advice on key UAS integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements. The committee helps to create a broad strategy for the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System.
“As the UAS industry continues to evolve, it is important to have DAC members who mirror the many facets of this fast-growing industry. We know the members will help the FAA ensure the highest level of safety while keeping pace with the new and innovative technology for UAS,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
The DAC is chartered to have up to 35 members and today’s announcement will fill 12 vacancies. The new members listed below will serve a two-year term and join DAC Chairman Michael Chasen, Chairman of the Advisory Board for PrecisionHawk USA, Inc.
Kenji Sugahara, President, and CEO of the DSPA was officially chosen to represent the DSPA and the small and medium-sized business drone service providers. “We are ecsta[c that the FAA and DOT realize the importance of small and medium-sized drone service providers in the UAS industry,” said Kenji Sugahara, CEO/President of the DSPA. “We are honored to be chosen to represent this important cons[tuency. Small and medium-sized drone service providers are the majority of UAS businesses that are actually flying and making a significant contribution to the United States economy, right now.”