Hogan Lovells and Commercial Drone Alliance host Advanced Aviation Innovation Summit alongside government & industry leaders

Hogan Lovells and Commercial Drone Alliance host Advanced Aviation Innovation Summit alongside government & industry leaders

Press releases | 03 May 2023

Washington, D.C., 3 May 2023 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells, in partnership with the Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA), hosted more than 200 stakeholders across industry and government at the Advanced Aviation Innovation Summit at Hogan Lovells’ Washington, D.C. office. The day-long event welcomed speakers and panelists to discuss topics including enhancing U.S. leadership in advanced aviation, the importance of enabling safe scaled drone and advanced air mobility (AAM) operations, congressional perspectives on FAA reauthorization, drone security and more. The full agenda is available here.

Speakers included U.S. Senator Mark Warner and high-ranking officials from the White House, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Congress—as well as leaders from across the advanced aviation ecosystem. The Summit brought together key policymakers and regulators with crucial industry stakeholders to promote solutions that enable the safe and secure integration of commercial drones and AAM vehicles into the National Airspace System (NAS). 

In a fireside chat, U.S. Senator Mark Warner discussed the importance of securing U.S. global leadership in the advanced aviation industry including by working to improve the regulatory process. He also discussed the bill he has co-sponsored with the Hon. U.S. Senator John Thune, which would, among other things, enable beyond visual line of sight operations, and which the CDA enthusiastically supports. 

In a keynote address, Carlos Monje, Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy with the U.S. Department of Transportation, emphasized that advanced aviation innovation requires a whole-of-government effort, pulling on the levers of more than 20 executive agencies, and that any advances should be both equitable and accessible, taking into account the needs of traditionally underserved communities. “The future of aviation is ours to shape,” added Monje.

Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen emphasized safety and collaboration above all else in enhancing U.S. leadership in advanced air mobility. “Working together has never been more important,” said Nolen, “because we are truly in uncharted territory.” Nolen added that while the FAA maintains a focus on safety, the Administration is equally committed to driving innovation. 

Josh Geltzer, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor at the White House National Security Council, discussed the need for enhanced U.S. leadership in advanced aviation as a national security imperative, as well as key issues related to drone security.

Lisa Ellman, Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance and Partner and Chair, UAS Practice, Hogan Lovells, stressed the need for stakeholders to collaborate across the aviation industry: “The Federal government can’t do it alone.  Industry can’t do it alone…. Successful integration of scaled UAS operations into the NAS means finding a way for the entire aviation community to coexist safely and securely in a shared and collaborative airspace.”

In addition to Hogan Lovells and the CDA, Summit Gold Sponsors were Skydio, Merlin Labs, and Wing. Additional sponsors of the Summit were AUVSI, AIAA, Choctaw Nation, Escalate, Hidden Level, NUAIR, PYKA, and Supernal. 

Partner Lisa Ellman (Washington, D.C.) is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the CDA and partner Emily Kimball (Denver) serves as the CDA Deputy Director. The CDA also is supported by CDA Membership Director, Gretchen West, and members of the Hogan Lovells UAS practice including partners Arjun Garg, Mike Bell, and Katy Milner, counsel Pat Rizzi, senior associate Matt Clark, and associate Allisa Newman (all Washington, D.C.)

About the Commercial Drone Alliance

The Commercial Drone Alliance is an independent non-profit organization led by key leaders in the commercial drone and advanced air mobility industries. The CDA brings together commercial drone end-users, manufacturers, service providers, advanced air mobility companies, drone security companies, and vertical markets including oil and gas, precision agriculture, construction, security, communications technology, infrastructure, newsgathering, and filmmaking. The CDA works with all levels of government to collaborate on policies for industry growth and seeks to educate the public on the safe and responsible use of commercial drones to achieve economic benefits and humanitarian gains.