Cities Form National Advisory Forum on Integrating Drones into U.S. Communities

December 16, 2020

The National League of Cities is pleased to announce the formation of an Unmanned Air Mobility Integration Advisory Forum of cities and towns to advise the federal government on efforts to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones – into the United States airspace. The newly formed working group will provide strategic advice to the range of government and industry actors who are advancing drone integration technology into the complex airspace above communities and ensure there is substantial coordination among all levels of government.  

“Millions of Americans are affected by the choices made about the nation’s airspace right above them, and the arrival of unmanned aviation vehicles will have an impact on all cities, towns and villages,” said Wade Troxell, Mayor of Fort Collins, Colorado, member of the NLC Transportation and Infrastructure Services Federal Advocacy Committee, and the only city elected official serving on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Drone Advisory Committee. “As the voices of the communities where drones will be operating, it is essential that local government officials take an active role alongside technology companies and our federal partners in Washington D.C., all working together to provide acceptable, forward-thinking solutions for our communities.”   

The new NLC Advisory Forum will be comprised of approximately twenty-five large and small cities and towns with roles in managing airports of different sizes, transportation planning, and strategic technology deployments. These communities will be providing directional insight to key government partners on the upcoming drone identification rulemaking, concepts of operations, necessary elements of Unmanned Traffic Management systems, and essential principles of operations shared among industry stakeholders and partners in aviation.  

“From small towns to mid-sized cities to our major metro areas, transportation innovation presents an incredible opportunity to reshape America’s competitive infrastructure advantage and build toward a brighter future,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities. “I’m excited about the creation of the Advisory Forum and I’m eager to begin the work ahead, integrating drones into our communities, alongside our nation’s local leaders and experts.” 

Communities interested in joining the Advisory Forum should provide their statement of interest here by January 8, 2021. For additional questions about the Advisory Forum, contact Brittney Kohler, Legislative Director, Transportation and Infrastructure, at kohler@nlc.org.