We are excited to share that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has appointed Skyward President Mariah Scott to a two-year term on the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee.

The FAA formed the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) in 2016 to advise on the strategic integration of drones into the national airspace. The DAC comprises 35 leaders in the drone industry, traditional aviation, and research. Mariah will join peers from organizations including Amazon, Alphabet, CNN, DJI, Lockheed Martin, and UPS. Secretary Chao has appointed PrecisionHawk CEO Michael Chasen to chair the committee for the next two years.

Mariah has held several executive positions at Skyward since she joined in 2014 as chief operating officer. A collaboration-focused leader, she fostered Skyward’s acquisition by Verizon in 2017. Mariah brings to the DAC decades of experience guiding new technology to market in highly regulated environments, including healthcare, secure online transactions, and now uncrewed aviation.

Like the other members of the DAC, Mariah is committed to working with the FAA and industry partners to unlock the enormous economic and societal potential of drones. Last September, she testified before the House Subcommittee on Aviation on the importance of Universal Traffic Management—a more inclusive goal than UAS Traffic Management—in order to safely integrate all aircraft into the national airspace.  

Mariah points to the FAA’s LAANC program as a successful example of public-private partnership—and the first stage of a true UTM system.

The success of LAANC is the direct result of the FAA partnering with industry to create safe, sensible regulatory processes that have been automated and delivered by software providers such as Skyward,” Mariah said. “This is just the beginning. A system of Universal Traffic Management that enables safe sharing of the airspace, from commercial airliners to small drones as well as the ‘flying cars’ of the future, is what the industry needs to truly flourish, and I look forward to working with the FAA and the other members of the DAC to make that shared vision a reality.”

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