FAA selected Six Drone Testing Sites

On December 30, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected six UAS test site operators that will allow the agency to develop research findings and operational experiences to help ensure the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace as they transition in what they refer to as a system featuring NextGen technologies and procedures. Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia are the states that will host these research sites. On these locations, researchers will develop and test new drone technologies to fly safely the same skies shared by commercial planes.

The agency’s activities must address the needs of a diverse aviation community while ensuring current users both in the air and on the ground remain safe.

¨This is an important milestone in the history on unmanned systems integration into the national airspace,¨said Dr Jerry LeMieux., President and Founder of Unmanned Vehicle University. ¨The test sites will be used to examine operations of UAVs in the vicinity of other manned aircraft. It proves that the US government is serious about commercializing the use of UAVs. The key technologies that will be developed are sense and avoid (a UAV collision avoidance system), a reliable control link, improvement in human factors (design and training) and UAS regulations. The FAA CONOPS has already been published and mentions that unmanned aircraft will be treated almost the same as manned aircraft.¨

The FAA announced the following six applicants had been selected to operate the UAS test sites. These six test applications achieve cross-country geographic and climatic diversity. (Read more)

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Source: NationalGeographic.com

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