FAA drone testing program takes off in 10 cities

Posted May 11, 2018

Uber is working on air-taxi technology and will deliver food drones in San Diego, California.

In the most far-reaching test program to date for burgeoning drone commerce, the Department of Transportation announced the selection of 10 state, local and tribal governments - in partnership with companies that include Intel Corp., Uber Technologies Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. - as social and scientific test areas.

The participating public entities will partner with private sector participants to test certain drone operations and collect data on the implementation of the projects, according to the USDOT. "Today's award is recognition that this team has assembled some of the strongest expertise in the nation, and has put forward a proposal that will prove critical to shared efforts to safely integrate drones into our communities and airspace", said Sen.

"This is a historic moment". The United States has lagged other countries in experimentation with drones, something the programme hopes to correct.

"This is vital to making sure America reaps the important benefits of this new technology".

Other agencies approved by the FAA sought to use new drone projects related to checking pipelines and other infrastructure, border security, controlling mosquitoes and delivering medical equipment.

FedEx has a project using drones to inspect aircraft at its Tennessee hub and for some package deliveries between the airport and other Memphis locations.

The US Department of Transportation and the FAA will use the collected data to help craft new rules that expand the use cases for low-altitude operations and accelerate the approval of operations that now require special authorizations.

Apple's mapping drones will take flight in North Carolina, which is one of ten new "light touch" zones in the U.S., a Financial Times report has revealed.

Greg also was present this week when it was announced in Bismarck that North Dakota is one of the states selected for the UAS Integration Pilot Program.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, Herndon, Va.

The company is taking part in a USA government pilot program where FAA restrictions on drone use have been loosened to promote business innovation in fields like parcel delivery and the delivery of emergency supplies. Drones carrying defibrillators to heart attack victims have the potential to save many lives, Flirtey founder and CEO Matthew Sweeny said.

The FAA received 149 applications for the program. The information will help US DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) create new rules, address security issues, and improve communications.

Cities will also hopefully see economic benefits: According to The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, by 2025 drones will create 100,000 jobs and contribute $82 billion to the American economy.

The winning applicants in the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program have been named.

But now it seems that the USA government has adopted a fresh new way of thinking about the flying technology, which is sure to spur more exciting and powerful applications.