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NATE Forms Committee on Unmanned Aerial Systems

WASHINGTON—The emergence of drones is capturing many people’s attention, both inside and outside of the industry, and that certainly includes the National Association of Tower Erectors, as the group has announced the establishment of an Unmanned Aerial System Committee.

The committee will be responsible for monitoring trends and the regulatory environment of UAS technologies and then make recommendations on best practices for NATE members and the wireless infrastructure community on UAS integration. The committee also intends to work with federal agencies and interested stakeholders on guidelines to promote safe commercial and private use of UAS technology.

Todd Schlekeway, NATE executive director, will serve on the committee. He will be joined by a number of licensed pilots, including Greg Emerick from Sentera, John Paul Jones of Tower & Turbine Technologies, Jimmy Miller from MillerCo, as well as UAV and student pilot Phil Larsen of Hazon Solutions. Jim Goldwater, Bob Lawrence Associates, will also serve as part of the committee.

The UAS Committee is already at work, participating in the National Telecommunications Information Administration stakeholder meetings on UAS that were held in Washington. The committee plans to continue its dialogue with the NTIA, the FAA, and other policymaker and regulators to keep pushing the wireless infrastructure industry’s priorities.

“There is no question that UAS technologies, if integrated appropriately, can play a supplemental role in enhancing safety and quality in the industry as well as contribute to the vital economic, public safety and national security benefits associated with broadband network deployments in the United States,” said Schlekeway.

NATE is a trade association that seeks to provide a unified voice for tower erection, service and maintenance companies.