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Kansas picked as participant in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program

11 May 2018

It is said to also involve companies that intend to test drones for delivering packages, environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, pipeline oversight, and for various uses at airports. The company has worked with the FAA on policy before, and has tested its drone technology around the world, including the UK.

The winning companies and projects were among 149 proposals vying for federal support through the Integration Pilot Program launched by President Donald Trump a year ago. At least 200 companies have thrown their names into the ring, with a total of 149 applications (since some companies are teaming up.) In total, just 10 applications will be granted initially.

The US drone program has been created to assess how drones can be regulated and worked into US airspace without borking normal aviation; Amazon offered to help but didn't get the nod, which is kind of ironic given it probably flogs more drones than any other tech firm out there. Virginia Tech said that it would explore emergency management, package delivery and infrastructure inspection by drone, partnering with Alphabet's Project Wing, AT&T, Intel, Airbus and Dominion Energy.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced 10 test projects that will bring the unmanned aircraft into the skies. Including flying drones at night and beyond an operator's line of vision in the United States.

Speaking of the USA drones, the EFAD (European Forum on Armed Drones) and other NGOs inked on a joint statement recently encouraging European states to end helping US lethal drone strikes all over the Middle East.

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The pilot program is aimed at producing data to assist the Federal Aviation Administration in establishing rules and regulations to safely integrate drones at scale.

Drone companies will be matched with state or local governments in the journey to develop the technology in various areas.

The Cupertino company will be able to make improvements to Apple Maps by capturing images of North Carolina using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and add more enhanced and detailed images.

The south Florida county will partner with the local mosquito control group to control and manage the mosquito population with a 1,500-pound autonomous drone.

The Transportation Department says more demonstration projects may be given the go-ahead in future rounds. "The program is a coordinated effort to provide certainty and stability to communities, drone owners and the rapidly evolving drone industry".

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China's SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd said it submitted about a dozen applications.

The FAA has said regulations are necessary to protect the public and the National Airspace System from bad actors or errant hobbyists.

"In my district, K-State Polytechnic is one of the first universities in the country to offer a bachelor's degree in unmanned aircraft systems", Marshall said.

The agency has said it hopes the proposed rules, laying out safety provisions when drones are flying above people and a requirement for them to transmit their identification, would be issued this year.

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Kansas picked as participant in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program