112th Congress Report SENATE 2d Session 112-173 _______________________________________________________________________ NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013 R E P O R T [to accompany s. 3254] COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES UNITED STATES SENATE June 4, 2012.--Ordered to be printed [...] 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.