droneThe U. S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) announced a diverse set of winners for the 10 openings in USDOT’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) Integration Pilot Program (“IPP”). As advertised, the program’s selectees consist of state, local and tribal governments (“Selectees”) that will partner with private sector entities to accelerate UAS integration into the national airspace system. The Selectees are:

  • Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, OK
  • City of Reno, NV
  • City of San Diego, CA
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority (Virginia Tech UAS site), 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
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

Each Selectee will tackle specific “problem sets” and/or area of operations that are important to UAS operations. Over the next two and a half years, the Selectees will collect data involving: operations of UAS at night, over people; operating in rural and urban environments; beyond visual line of sight missions; package delivery missions; and testing detect-and-avoid technologies. USDOT anticipates that data collected from these operations will:

  • Facilitate new regulations enabling more complex low-altitude operations;
  • Identify ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration;
  • Address security and privacy risks; and
  • Accelerate regulatory approval of UAS operations that currently require special authorizations.

Ultimately, the goal of the IPP is to reduce risks to public safety and security as UAS are integrated into the national airspace.

For more information regarding the Husch Blackwell UAS team contact David Agee, Erik Dullea or Chris Sundberg.