Kansas reports first field exercise as part of FAA’s BEYOND programme

The Kansas Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation has completed a field exercise in Rossville to demonstrate the capabilities of drones being used for infrastructure inspections and disaster response.

According to a press release from the aviation division, Bridge inspectors, public safety officials, universities and UAS manufacturers worked side-by-side with KDOT team members on this exercise. The Capabilities Exercise, or CAPEX, showed how drones can –

  • save time and money on transportation infrastructure inspections;
  • allow state agencies to examine disaster sites in emergency response situations;
  • and expand economic opportunities through transportation using innovative technologies.

The drone demonstration in Rossville was one of the first events to take place as part of BEYOND, “which will continue to advance the safe integration of drones into our national air space,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. KDOT is one of eight participants to continue in the FAA’s research effort to further drone research.

In October 2017, KDOT was selected as one of nine participants in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, a three-year program that concluded Oct. 25. “KDOT was an important partner in the first UAS IPP,” said U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran.  “I look forward to witnessing the future accomplishments of our state in this new program and will continue advocating at the federal level on their behalf.”

There are 44 state agency, university and technology partners have been selected to join the KDOT team in their efforts in the BEYOND program.

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