March 26, 2023

The Drone User Group Network (DUG) has announced that DUG Director of Policy Kenji Sugahara has been chosen as a voting member of the UAS Identification and Tracking ARC.

Sugahara’s appointment is a little different than that of other ARC members.  Joining powerful agencies and deep pocket companies like DJI, Intel, Amazon, Google, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security, Sugahara will not be representing a major corporation or government agency.  Instead, he will be representing the over 20,000 members of the Drone User Group – a grassroots, $20/year and free to kids and students group who have joined together around a shared passion for drones, committed to supporting other flyers and the drone community.  The DUG is an all-volunteer organization.  While his colleagues on the ARC will be supported by their offices and organizations, Sugahara will take time off from his job and stay with a local DUG member while in DC.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Oregon School of Law, professional drone pilot and CEO of data sensing and analytics company AriAscend Corporation, Sugahara has impressive credentials for the job.  And the issue is of primary importance to DUG membership.  “Addressing the issue of in-air identification of drones, the committee will discuss technology, law enforcement, and implementation issues and will make a final recommendation to the FAA regarding the framework for identification and tracking of drones,” says a DUG announcement. ” The recommendations will have far reaching consequences in our industries and our hobbies.”

“It is significant and important that the Drone User Group Network is represented on any rulemaking committee pertaining to civil drone use in both the recreational and commercial arena,” says Steve Cohen,  DUG President.  “We represent a community that is under-represented in the crafting of regulations that directly affect our ability to recreate or earn income using drone technology. The DUG’s mission is to advocate for the safe and responsible use of civil drone technology and we feel that our participation on the ARC gives voice to our concerns and preferences that would otherwise go unheard in a sea of voices representing corporations and 3 letter agencies.”

“Whether you are a commercial operator, a hobbyist, or a racer, your interests will be directly impacted by the work of this committee. ”

Operators interested in supporting the DUG advocacy fund to help defray expenses can do so here.