FAA names 6 sites for testing drones
"Today's announcement by the FAA is an important milestone on the path toward unlocking the potential of unmanned aircraft," said Michael Toscano, the industry group's CEO. "From advancing scientific research and responding to natural disasters to locating missing persons and helping to fight wildfires, (unmanned aircraft) can save time, save money, and, most importantly, save lives. ".
FAA will work with all the sites to get at least one operating within the next six months. The sites are:
• University of Alaska, which has diverse climate and a variety of test sites, including in Hawaii and Oregon. The university plans to work on state monitoring, navigation and safety standards.
• State of Nevada, which plans to study standards for operators and certification requirements. The state will also study how air-traffic control procedures will evolve to handle drones.
• New York's Griffiss International Airport near Utica, which plans to research how drones and passenger aircraft will sense and avoid each other, to prevent collisions, particularly in the congested Northeast airspace.
• North Dakota Department of Commerce, which plans to develop airworthiness data and validate the reliability of links between pilots and unmanned aircraft.
• Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, which plans to develop safety systems for drones.
• Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which has test locations in Virginia and New Jersey, plans to test failure modes and technical risks for drones, to ensure they land safely if they lose connection with a pilot.
"These test sites will give us valuable information about how best to ensure the safe introduction of this advanced technology into our nation's skies," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said