By Patrick Egan who is currently on a plane to Norway
(The go-forward plan for the rest of us.)
The FAA has long since left the academic, amateur and small business end-user and the public in the dust as actual participating stakeholders. The only “full-spectrum” of stakeholders invited are the DOD vendors with lobbyists and political friends. (Maybe if I wrote Buck McKeon a six-figure check I’d get two slots on the UAS ARC??) You’d think that shame or sentimental ideas of participatory democracy might come into play with something so important. The only place you see or hear that is in old movies, and or stories from old-timers who remember a way of life where people were good for their word. Unfortunately, it would appear that Mr. Smith left Washington D.C. many years ago.
Those who have followed the sUAS News writings might well understand the old shell game. For the newcomers, three card Monty or the pea and the shells is the U.S. UAS airspace integration game.
Yes, some of the stories may be obscure, but I’ve had to utilize allegory and aphorisms as a courtesy and not come right out and to expose the source. Don’t want to ruin someone’s career, backroom deal, or whatever angle they may have going. No shortage of that over the years and from folks in this effort that all purportedly say, “we all want the same thing.” They will straight up blackball people (some possibly their own kin) without any reservations totally devoid of either scruple or moral compunction. You’ve got Federal employees banning or reassigning other federal employees for not going along with the program. Then there’s the one way ticket to Pariahville (formally Palookaville) for any stakeholder who’s script they (or the DOD folks) don’t dig.
For those of you that think it too fantastic to be true… I wish. Heck, I was almost kicked off of the current FAA BVLOS committee before I even accepted. (It would appear that those not well practiced in the art of bootlicking are not really welcome??) A couple of choice quotes for educational purposes.
“The ARC debated your inclusion on this working group for some time. However, the FAA wanted your organization involved, so feel free to delegate to someone else at RCAPA.”
And most of you thought the FAA was the only group sandbagging the process.
“We all hope you are constructive and keep the bomb throwing to a minimum. This is not a seat on the ARC, but a working group, and it can be revoked at any time.”
“Bomb throwing!” Does this sound like “we all want the same thing?” It lacks a certain inclusive tone, but I don’t want to be accused of nitpicking.
On the other side of the coin, you go quietly along with the program, and there is more than likely a nice golden off ramp in your future. Maybe a DOD vendor or some other cushy spot where you can go play the do nothing game till your interests become vested. Funny (ironic) part is… it takes a few years for a new employer to realize what type of “we all want the same thing” they got.
Read the rest of Patricks article here http://www.suasnews.com/2014/11/32584/the-solution-has-got-to-be-in-here-somewhere/