FAA adds additional test sites under UTM Pilot Program (UPP) phase two

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the addition of two new participants for the second phase of its unmanned aircraft Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program (UPP).

The FAA’s NextGen Office has selected Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership in Blacksburg, Va, and Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY, as test site participants in the next phase. UPP Phase 2 will showcase capabilities and services that support high-density Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations, including remote identification (Remote ID) services and public safety operations. Data collected from Phase 2 test activities will help inform a cross-agency UTM Implementation Plan.

UPP Phase 1 was completed in August 2019 in collaboration with NASA, FAA UAS test sites and their industry partners. Phase 1 tested capabilities such as the exchange of flight intent data among UAS operators. Participants also generated UAS Volume Reservations (UVRs), which are notifications to operators about inbound priority operations.

The FAA Reauthorisation Act of 2018 extended the objectives of the UPP to include testing Remote ID technologies and operations with increasing volumes and density to enable safe beyond-visual-line-of-sight UAS operations.

The FAA and NASA held a UPP Phase 2 Industry Workshop in December 2019. Among other things, the workshop outlined the sample-use cases for validating and demonstrating Remote ID technologies. Following the workshop, the FAA issued a Screening Information Request to FAA UAS Test Sites and received proposals on Jan. 29, 2020. The next steps include kick-off meetings to begin planning activities.

AirMap, AiRXOS, ANRA Technologies and Wing are reported to be working with the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership UPP2 programme.

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