US FAA selects New York UAS test site for next phase of drone capabilities testing

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded a task order contract to the New York UAS Test Site (NYUASTS) for the next uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) integration project to help advance the reality of safe, high-volume drone operations, and the development of a UAS traffic management (UTM) system. The UTM Field Test (UFT) project will be managed by NUAIR on behalf of the NYUASTS located in Oneida County, NY and conducted within the 50-Mile Drone Corridor between Rome and Syracuse. The project will provide the FAA and industry with information to support policy development and will help industry update standards to support beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations – a critical element in unlocking the true potential of routine, commercial drone operations, says the press release.

The need for drone operators to safely utilize low altitude airspace (below 400 feet above ground level) continues to grow with more business cases where drones operate both in visual line-of-sight and beyond visual line-of[1]sight. The FAA recognizes the benefits of supporting these more complex drone operations at low altitudes safely, equitably, and efficiently and continues to collaborate with industry through projects like the UFT to improve UTM and other enabling technologies.

NUAIR and the FAA kicked off the UFT project in July with the goal of completing the project by spring of 2023. Project team partners include ANRA Technologies, AX Enterprize, Cal Analytics, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Oneida Indian Nation, and OneSky. Each of these partners were selected based on their leadership in UTM technology and their willingness to continue to progress the state of the technology. The partners are an essential part of conducting the testing necessary to evaluate the ability of new constructs to enhance the capabilities of UTM for future operations. Test infrastructure updated through field testing activities will allow for the continued collaboration between the FAA and UTM community and support the maturation of a UTM ecosystem.

“NUAIR continues to have a close relationship with the FAA to help develop and test the policies and regulations needed for safe, advanced UAS operations,” said NUAIR CEO Ken Stewart. “NUAIR, with our array of assets in New York, have the capabilities, expertise and real-world environments needed to prove out the elements outlined within this project, and once again we look forward to helping the FAA and industry realize the goal of routine commercial UAS operations.

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