'No shrinking violets' in room with Trump as drone CEOs lobbied hard for looser regulations

Key Points
  • Drone-company CEOs meeting with Trump lobbied hard for looser regulations.
  • "Strong opinions" were expressed to the administration during meeting in East Room of White House, under watchful eyes of George and Martha Washington.
  • "There were no shrinking violets," says Brandon Torres Declet, a CEO who was there.
President Donald Trump holds a drone as George Mathew CEO & Chairman of Kespry explains how it work during the American Leadership in Emerging Technology Event in the East Room of the White House June 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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Executives from several drone companies who met with President Trump at the White House lobbied hard for looser rules for their industry and found him sympathetic, says one CEO who was there.

"There were strong personalities expressing strong opinions" about de-regulating drone flights, Measure CEO Brandon Torres Declet told CNBC. "There were no shrinking violets" among the drone execs gathered with the President and other administration officials in the East Room of the White House.

"The President expressed concerns that over-regulation of the drone industry would cause the U.S. to fall behind other countries" in the technology, while portraits of George and Martha Washington looked down from the walls, Torres Declet said from the White House.

The nascent drone industry has been pushing for rules that would allow commercial drones to be flown at night and outside the view of the person operating the craft, among other changes.

Trump has been meeting this week with range of executives representing a broad swath of the tech industry.

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After meeting with the largest and most valuable companies on Monday, Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and other officials met with execs from drone and telecom companies today.

The meeting was organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, led by Deputy U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios.

Also in attendance was Jeff Rosen, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation, which sets U.S. aircraft rules via the Federal Aviation Administration.

Last August the FAA issued sweeping new rules for drone operators, including requiring all drone operators, even hobbyists, to register with the government.

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