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The Administration strongly supports S. 2836, Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018.  At its core, the bill would provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) the necessary legal authorities to detect, track, and mitigate threats from small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).  The bill would provide DHS and DOJ the specific authority to develop, test, and deploy within the United States counter-UAS technology to mitigate the threat posed by careless, threatening, or malicious drone operations, while enabling the further development of the commercial drone industry, protecting privacy and civil liberties, and ensuring the safety of the National Airspace System.

For multiple economic and national security reasons, the Administration supports the safe and secure integration of UAS into our national airspace.  Achieving that goal requires the development of a legal framework that protects the public from nefarious uses of this technology, such as facilitating terrorist attacks, conducting espionage, or facilitating other criminal activities such as illicit surveillance, interfering with the safe operation of aircraft, interfering with law enforcement operations, delivering contraband inside prisons, or smuggling drugs or other harmful materials across our Nation’s borders.  Current Federal laws inhibit the Federal Government’s ability to fully evaluate and use essential detection, tracking, and mitigation technologies to counter these rapidly advancing threats.  The legislation would provide a tailored grant of authority within a framework that provides effective oversight, protects privacy and civil liberties, and preserves the safety and efficiency of our national airspace.  Enacting this legislation would help fuel a growing industry and is a critical step towards further safe integration of drones into our national airspace.

The Administration looks forward to working with the relevant committees of jurisdiction on S. 2836, Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018, to ensure the legislation achieves the intended effect, protects privacy and civil liberties, and supports the safe integration of drone technology into our national airspace.