The Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) and Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced the launch of the Virginia Flight Information Exchange pilot programme, 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 the Virginia press release, the Virginia Flight Information Exchange is a platform for state and local government agencies to publish and share advisory information with each other, UAS Service Suppliers (USS), unmanned system operators, and the public to promote transparency and public safety. The pilot programme will evaluate the benefits of information sharing, inform thoughtful regulation, and demonstrate a state-supported approach to UAS communications and coordination.
The pilot programme was developed through a public-private collaboration with the Virginia DOAV, CIT and its Virginia Unmanned Systems Center, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and Advanced Technology Applications (ATA), a leading data science and engineering company in Northern Virginia.
The Virginia Flight Information Exchange will be the first state-sponsored authoritative Supplemental Data Service Provider (SDSP) to exist in the FAA’s UAS Traffic Management (UTM), which is an ecosystem of infrastructure and protocols enabling the management of low altitude drone operations.
“With one of the strongest technology workforces in the country, Virginia has been an aggressive early adopter of UAS, and the Flight Information Exchange furthers our Commonwealth’s reputation as an industry leader,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “By working with Virginia industry leaders like ATA, we support the growth of unmanned aerial systems capabilities and opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. We’re very proud that Virginia is playing a key role in UAS, and it’s exciting to be part of this rapidly evolving industry.”
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