October 25WASHINGTON President Donald J. Trump directed U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao today to launch an initiative to safely test and validate advanced operations for drones in partnership with state and local governments in select jurisdictions. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program implements a directive signed by President Trump today, and the results will be used to accelerate the safe integration UAS into the national airspace and to realize the benefits of unmanned technology in our economy.
The program will help tackle the most significant challenges in integrating drones into the national airspace while reducing risks to public safety and security. The program is designed to provide regulatory certainty and stability to local governments and communities, UAS owners and operators who are accepted into the program. In less than a decade, the potential economic benefit of integrated unmanned aerial systems into the nations airspace is estimated to equal up to $82 billion and create up to 100,000 jobs.*
The program will help the USDOT and FAA develop a regulatory framework that will allow more complex low-altitude operations; identify ways to balance local and national interests; improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions; address security and privacy risks; and accelerate the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.
This program supports the Presidents commitment to foster technological innovation that will be a catalyst for ideas that have the potential to change our day-to-day lives, said Secretary Chao. Drones are proving to be especially valuable in emergency situations, including assessing damage from natural disasters such as the recent hurricanes and the wildfires in California.
The pilot program will evaluate a variety of operational concepts, including night operations, flights over people, flights beyond the pilots line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies, counter-UAS security operations, and the reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft.… Read more ...