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AOPA organizes US-Czech Republic meeting on airspace, UAS issuesAOPA organizes US Czech Republic meeting on airspace and UAS issues

AOPA organized a meeting at the U.S. Capitol on May 16 between officials from the United States and the Czech Republic to discuss issues related to airspace and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). 
The Capitol is home to the U.S. Congress and its House and Senate. The legislative branch has significant influence over general aviation. Photo by David Tulis.

Czech Republic Ambassador Petr Gandalovič asked AOPA to organize the meeting, and their delegation consisted of more than 30 individuals including Gandalovič; Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek; and officials from the Czech Republic’s Economic Committee, the Czech Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and other representatives of industry and academia.

“We would like to thank AOPA for arranging this meeting so we could learn more about safely integrating UAS from the American as well as global pilot community that AOPA can provide,” said Gandalovič.

Marke “Hoot” Gibson, the FAA’s senior advisor on UAS integration, and AOPA Senior Director of UAS Programs Kat Swain, each gave presentations and led discussions.

Jiri Marousek, AOPA senior vice president for marketing, was raised in the Czech Republic and took part in the discussions. “From light-sport to larger aircraft, the Czech Republic has a strong aviation heritage,” he said.

Gandalovič spoke about the potential for growth in the Czech Republic from both manned and unmanned aircraft.

“Like our American counterparts, we are looking forward to creating an environment that will ensure commercial growth, the exceptional innovation in the drone industry as well as the continued safety and growth in the existing manned aircraft operations globally,” said Gandalovič.

According to the Light Aircraft Association of the Czech Republic, the nation’s aviation industry declined following the collapse of the U.S.S.R., but growth in sport aviation has brought it back in recent years. Additionally, GE recently announced it will expand its existing turboprop manufacturing facilities in Prague into a “center of excellence” that will open in 2020.

Joe Kildea

Joe Kildea

AOPA Senior Director of Communications
Joe is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland. Before joining AOPA in 2015, he worked for numerous political campaigns, news organizations, and the White House Press Office.
Topics: Advocacy, Airspace, Unmanned Aircraft

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