UAS, UAV & Drones

Whether advocating for smart public policy or crafting key industry standards, CTIA helps our members navigate the complex legal and regulatory environment for utilizing commercial wireless networks for Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS") and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ("UAV"), commonly referred to as Drones.

UAS & Wireless: A Game-Changing Combination

From delivering packages and providing video for the news to monitoring critical infrastructure and aiding in search and rescue missions, drones are being used in transformational ways—by consumers and by different industries. The wireless industry, for instance is using drones to inspect cell towers and optimize their networks ahead of large-scale events, like the Super Bowl.

The commercial wireless networks operated by CTIA’s members will form the backbone of the communications systems enabling safe and reliable drone operations. Our networks are secure, licensed by the FCC, and are already deployed nationwide, providing a ready-made ecosystem to support drone communications and operations.

Helping Drones Take Flight: CTIA's Advocacy Efforts

Drones depend on spectrum, new technologies present new policy challenges, and ensuring the safe and reliable use of drones is paramount. That’s where the work CTIA is doing—convening the industry, partnering with federal agencies, and working with regulatory bodies and in the halls of Congress—comes into play.

Our members work together to promote smart, flexible policies and standards for drones. CTIA’s Drone/UAS Working Group advocates before all U.S. regulatory agencies that can impact drone operations, including the FAA, FCC, DHS, NASA and NTIA. Across our Association, we support freeing up more licensed and unlicensed spectrum for small, low-altitude drones and UAS communications needs.

In addition, CTIA:

  • Participates in the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee, providing guidance on how commercial wireless networks can help integrate UAS into national airspace
  • Serves on the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council for drones and other space transmitters, making recommendations on spectrum solutions that benefit UAS
  • Works with NASA on research projects related to low altitude traffic management for drones, with a focus on communication and navigation and sense and avoid technologies

Convening the Industry: CTIA's Working Group

The experts in CTIA's UAS/Drone Working Group represent some of the industry's top companies and organizations. 

CTIA Working Group Members

For information on how to join CTIA Working Groups, please contact Phil Rice, Director of Membership, at price@ctia.org.