Murkowski Applauds Alaskan Appointed to FAA's Drone Advisory Committee

University of Alaska-Fairbanks’ Catherine Cahill appointed to FAA’S DAC

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released the following statement after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) named Catherine Cahill, Director of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as one of 12 new members of its Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). As an expert in chemistry and ACUASI Director, Cahill leads on world class research to help allow for expanded unmanned aircraft system operations and improve the implementation of drones in the National Airspace System.

“Cathy is an outstanding choice for the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee. Years ago, Cathy worked as a part of my team as a Congressional Fellow for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where she demonstrated the work-ethic and innovative spirit needed to be successful in this new position. Her in-depth experience leading on drone security and addressing the opportunities and challenges posed by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will be a huge asset as she begins this new role,” said Senator Murkowski. “In Alaska and the Arctic, UAS are used for a wide range of critical procedures, including wildfire suppression and management, search and rescue operations, facility inspections, and mitigating supply chain risk. “As the sole academic selected to serve on the committee, Cathy will provide unique insight on UAS implementation and operations. She is the ideal pick for this position and I look forward to supporting her in her new role.”

"Unmanned aviation has vast economic potential in Alaska. Dr. Cahill's work creates opportunities for Alaska through cutting edge research and innovation, and her leadership exemplifies the university's pursuit of meaningful partnerships. Dr. Cahill's appointment to the committee puts Alaska at the center of critical national discussions that will impact the future of aviation in our state,” said Pat Pitney, President, University of Alaska.

Background: The Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) is an extensive and wide-reaching federal advisory committee that advises the FAA on critical drone integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements. The committee works to identify and develop safe, innovative, and effective UAS integration and implementation strategies into the National Airspace System.