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USA FAA’s UAS integration pilot progamme

Posted: 10th Sep 2018

Categories: Governance, Market

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program is an opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to accelerate safe UAS integration. The program will help the FAA craft new enabling rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations by

  • Identifying ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration
  • Improving communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions
  • Addressing security and privacy risks
  • Accelerating the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.

This White House initiative partners the FAA with local, state and tribal governments, which then partner with private sector participants to safely explore the further integration of drone operations.

The 10 selected partners are:

  • Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, OK
  • City of San Diego, CA
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, Herndon, VA
  • Kansas Department of Transportation, Topeka, KS
  • Lee County Mosquito Control District, Ft. Myers, FL
  • Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, Memphis, TN
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, NC
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation, Bismarck, ND
  • City of Reno, NV
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

The UAS Integration Pilot Program will help tackle the most significant challenges to integrating drones into the national airspace and will reduce risks to public safety and security. The program is a coordinated effort to provide certainty and stability to communities, drone owners and the rapidly evolving drone industry. In less than a decade, the potential economic benefit of integrating UAS in the nation’s airspace is estimated at $82 billion and could create 100,000 jobs.*

Sponsor

Over the next two and a half years, the selectees will collect drone data involving night operations, flights over people and beyond the pilot’s line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies and the reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft. The data collected from these operations will help the USDOT and the FAA craft new enabling rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations, identify ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration, improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions, address security and privacy risks, and accelerate the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.

Fields that could see immediate opportunities from the program include commerce, photography, emergency management, public safety, precision agriculture and infrastructure inspections.

*According to AUVSI, in the first three years of integration more than 70,000 jobs will be created in the United States with an economic impact of more than $13.6 billion. This benefit will grow through 2025 when they foresee more than 100,000 jobs created and economic impact of $82 billion.