USDOT Announces Drone Integration Pilot Program Sites

USDOT Announces Drone Integration Pilot Program Sites

May 10, 2018  | Brianne Eby

May 10, 2018

On Wednesday, May 9, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (USDOT) Elaine Chao announced the first ten state, local, and tribal governments selected to participate in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

Out of 149 applicants, the ten chosen participants 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 program pairs governments with the private sector (e.g. UAS operators or manufacturers) to implement and accelerate safe UAS integration. Further, the program helps the USDOT and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) devise new rules for UAS, or drone, technology by exploring the national and local interests involved in UAS integration, improving communications across jurisdictions of all levels, addressing security and privacy concerns, and accelerating approval of operations.

The pilot program will be carried out over the next two and a half years, during which the ten participating entities will collect drone data on night operations, flights over people and beyond the pilot’s line of sight, package delivery, and technology to avoid other aircraft.

The selected participants will establish Memorandums of Agreement with the FAA that will determine each party’s responsibilities, operations, and data-sharing requirements. No federal funds will be spent on the program.

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