In an investigation of the FAA’s mitigation efforts to detect and counter malicious use of uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), the U.S. DOT’s inspector general office found that the agency was lacking resources in its counter-UAS (C-UAS) measures.
Given the increasing safety and security concerns related to UAS, the GAO sought to assess the FAA’s process for coordinating with other federal agencies authorized to issue guidance and implement use of C-UAS technologies. Further, the watchdog agency wanted to ensure that these technologies used by other agencies would not adversely affect aviation safety.
The report concluded that the FAA is coordinating with other federal agencies that use UAS detection and C-UAS technologies to ensure there is no impact to airspace users. However, the FAA has “not conducted a strategic assessment of these programs to ensure it has the resources needed to keep pace with increasing demand,” the GAO said. “Because the FAA has not yet completed the necessary testing of UAS detection and C-UAS technologies, the agency cannot fully assess their impact to aviation safety and security, and may not understand those impacts for several years.”
The FAA concurred with all three recommendations to improve the effectiveness of its C-UAS efforts and provided actions to be taken and scheduled completion dates.