Startup launched to help unmanned drones come to market


A startup launched in the USA that aims to help the aviation sector develop regulations and operating practices to enable commercial applications of unmanned drones has appointed a mix of former FAA executives and investment fund managers to its board.

AccelerātUM has been setup in Park City, Utah with offices in Washington DC. It is a privately funded collaborative that aims to develop policies, standards and operating practices for unmanned mobility operations.

The company aims to recruit stakeholders in the growing unmanned drone sector such as commercial end-users, municipalities, emergency service providers, manufacturers, technology providers, researchers, and regulators as a affiliate members of the organisation.

AccelerātUM says it will then identify barriers to the development of unmanned mobility operations, ambiguity in existing and future regulatory and operational infrastructure and formulate policies, standards and operating practices for its affiliates to adopt and offer to regulators for policy consideration.

Lessing Stern, co-founder and chairman of the board of AccelerātUM said, “We are a different type of collaborative organization. We founded AccelerātUM to address the need for consensus-based solutions to the complex and ambiguous problems the unmanned mobility industry is facing today.”

The kind of projects the company may work on include the Certification Basis for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), recommendations for independent test and evaluation protocols, Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations, the integration of traditional and unmanned traffic management (UTM).

Michael Huerta, and former FAA Administrator and a co-founder of the company said, “Unmanned aircraft systems are growing at a fast rate and the standard regulatory processes are slower and more deliberative by design. This poses a risk to the safety and security of our critical infrastructure and the National Airspace System.”

“AccelerātUM was created to accelerate the development and implementation of policies, standards, and best practices necessary to address that risk.”

James Williams, another co-founder of the company and former director of the FAA’s UAS Integration Office said, “The unmanned mobility industry has always discussed the need to find ways to accelerate the integration of UAS into the US Airspace. AccelerātUM is the organization capable of doing that and more.”

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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