North Carolina signs up for Virginia’s drone flight information exchange tool

The Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) has signed the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)—Division of Aviation as the first state to collaborate, coordinate and disseminate information as a user of the Virginia Flight Information Exchange (VA-FIX), a tool that will allow state and local governments to share information among unmanned aerial systems (UAS) stakeholders and address key safety and policy concerns while keeping the airspace open, secure, and integrated with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) control of the national airspace.

According to a press release:

“The Commonwealth of Virginia developed VA-FIX as a platform for state and local government agencies to publish and share Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, advisory information with each other, UAS Service Suppliers, unmanned system operators, and the public to promote transparency and public safety. The pilot program, which launched in August 2020 and is the first of its kind in the industry, is evaluating the benefits of data-sharing; informing thoughtful regulation; and demonstrating a state-supported approach to UAS communications and coordination through an Authoritative Supplemental Data Service Provider (ASDSP).”

DOAV Director Mark K. Flynn said, “We are excited and pleased to welcome North Carolinas’ Division of Aviation as a user of VA-FIX. They will soon experience what a powerful tool it is and how it will enhance productivity and public safety.”

Dr. Amber L. Wilson, DOAV manager of aviation technology, said, “We look forward to working with other states and sharing our lessons learned, our governance approach model, and assisting them with establishing similar models to achieve the same success.”

Benjamin Spain, UAS program manager for NCDOT—Division of Aviation, said, “We appreciate the chance to partner with our friends to the north on defining state government’s role in drone regulation. Through collaboration, we can all better understand the needs of a growing drone field. NCDOT and DOAV are both national leaders in unmanned aircraft innovation, and with this partnership we hope to help provide a path forward to full, national drone integration in the near future.”

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