[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 155 (Wednesday, December 5, 2012)] [Senate] [Pages S7461-S7636] NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013 On Tuesday, November 4, 2012, the Senate passed S. 3254, as follows: S. 3254 [...] SEC. 1046. INTERAGENCY COLLABORATION ON UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS. (a) Findings on Joint Department of Defense Federal Aviation Administration Executive Committee on Conflict and Dispute Resolution.--Section 1036(a) of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4596) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ``(9) Collaboration of scientific and technical personnel and sharing of technical information, test results, and resources where available from the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration can advance an enduring relationship of research capability to advance the access of unmanned aircraft systems of the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other public agencies to the National Airspace System.''. (b) Interagency Collaboration.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary of Defense shall collaborate with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to conduct research and seek solutions to challenges associated with the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System in accordance with subtitle B of title III of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95; 126 Stat. 72). (2) Activities in support of plan on access to national airspace for unmanned aircraft systems.--Collaboration under paragraph (1) may include research and development of scientific and technical issues, equipment, and technology in support of the plan to safely accelerate the integration of unmanned aircraft systems as required by subtitle B of title III of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. (3) Nonduplicative efforts.--If the Secretary of Defense determines it is in the interest of the Department of Defense, the Secretary may use existing aerospace-related laboratories, personnel, equipment, research radars, and ground facilities of the Department of Defense to avoid duplication of efforts in carrying out collaboration under paragraph (1). (4) Reports.-- [[Page S7528]] (A) Requirement.--The Secretary of Defense, on behalf of the UAS Executive Committee, shall annually submit to the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the progress of research activity of the Department of Defense, including-- (i) progress in accomplishing the goals of the unmanned aircraft systems research, development, and demonstration as related to the Department of Defense Final Report to Congress on Access to National Airspace for Unmanned Aircraft Systems of October 2010, and any ongoing and collaborative research and development programs with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and (ii) estimates of long-term funding needs and details of funds expended and allocated in the budget requests of the President that support integration into the National Airspace. (B) Termination.--The requirement to submit a report under subparagraph (A) shall terminate on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act. (c) UAS Executive Committee Defined.--In this section, the term ``UAS Executive Committee'' means the National Aeronautics and Space and Administration and the Department of Defense-Federal Aviation Administration executive committee described in section 1036(b) of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 and established by the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section. [...] Senate Report 112-173 Interagency collaboration on unmanned aircraft systems (sec. 1046) The committee recommends a provision that would: (1) amend section 1036(a) of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417) to encourage technical collaboration and sharing of personnel, resources, and information among the Department of Defense (DOD), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); (2) direct the Secretary of Defense to collaborate with the FAA and NASA Administrators on solutions to the challenges of unmanned aerial system (UAS) integration into the National Airspace System (NAS); and (3) require the Secretary of Defense to provide an annual report for a period of 5 years on the progress of research and development for UAS NAS integration and future funding requirements. UASs have clearly demonstrated their immense value to DOD military capabilities in the global war on terrorism. Increasingly, UASs are contributing to missions of other agencies and departments within the United States. Large numbers of UASs now deployed overseas may be returned to the United States as the conflict in Afghanistan and operations elsewhere wind down in coming years, and new UASs are under development. Without the ability to operate freely and routinely in the NAS, UAS development and training--and ultimately operational capabilities--will be severely impacted. As the committee has noted repeatedly in previous years, DOD's leadership belatedly realized how important and difficult UAS NAS integration would be. While progress has been made in the last 5 years, the pace of development must be accelerated; greater cross-agency collaboration and resource sharing will contribute to that objective. DOD has invested significantly in resolving the technical challenges of UAS NAS integration, and this research and development and associated resources should be utilized for the benefit of this government-wide initiative, where applicable. The committee is encouraged by the relationship built between DOD, the FAA, and NASA for coordinating research and development and planning for this integration. The committee also recognizes the contribution that the Joint Planning and Development Office's (JDPO) report, `NextGen Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development and Demonstration Roadmap,' dated March 15, 2012, has made by providing a multi-agency perspective on the technology required to enable UAS operations and integration in the next-generation NAS. The committee supports and encourages a deeper collaborative relationship between DOD and its JPDO partners to expedite development of the necessary technologies and to avoid redundant activities.