The FAA has appointed two new executives to guide the agency's integration of unmanned aircraft systems into U.S. airspace. The announcement comes less than one month after prior speculation into the agency's reorganization of its UAS functions.
Marke "Hoot" Gibson will be the senior advisor on UAS integration and will focus on outreach and education as well as use an enterprise-approach to FAA management of UAS integration efforts. Earl Lawrence will be the director of the UAS Integration Office within the agency's Aviation Safety organization. Both appointees will begin later this month.
Gibson previously was the executive director of the NextGen Institute, which collaborated with the UAS Joint Program Development Office. He is also a 33-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Lawrence previously managed various aircraft certification and manufacturing district offices around the country as director of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate. He also was the vice president for Industry & Regulatory Affairs at the Experimental Aircraft Assn.