Test Sites chosen for civilian, private use of drones

The U.S. approved drone test centers in six states, including New York, as the start of research efforts to eventually allow civilian unmanned aircraft widespread access to the nation’s airways.

The Federal Aviation Administration, after sifting through 25 applicants, also approved bids from Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia…

The selection is one of the first U.S. regulatory moves to begin integrating unmanned aircraft with piloted planes and helicopters as companies including Amazon.com…push to develop commercial drones…

The test sites will be used to help the FAA develop certification standards for unmanned aircraft and how they can be operated within the air-traffic system, according to the law requiring the sites…

The winners were the University of Alaska, which also has test sites located in Hawaii and Oregon; the state of Nevada; Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York, which also plans to use a facility in Massachusetts; the North Dakota Department of Commerce; Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, in Blacksburg, which will also conduct testing in New Jersey.

The first site will become operational within 180 days and will operate at least through 2017, Huerta said.

In response to concerns that drones put people’s privacy at risk, the FAA will require test-site operators to maintain records of devices flying at the facility, create a written plan for how data collected by airborne vehicles will be used and retained, and conduct a yearly privacy review.

Facilities must also adhere to all privacy laws that may apply to drone use, such as restrictions on law enforcement to obtain search warrants, according to the FAA’s privacy policy.

And we all know how thoroughly the federal government guarantees privacy laws. Right?

4 thoughts on “Test Sites chosen for civilian, private use of drones

  1. moss says:

    The FAA has got to go crazy coming up with sensible regulations. Safety first and always.

    Then, the politicians get to try to screw it up. This will take forever to sort.

  2. Incubator says:

    “As the number of unmanned systems in use in the air, on land and in the oceans continues to rise, recent action by the Small Business Administration will work to accommodate the potential for small businesses to control parts of that market.
    In a Sept. 30 release, the SBA announced the awarding of four new regional innovation cluster contracts. One of the new clusters in southeastern New Mexico is dedicated solely to the research and development of unmanned and autonomous systems. …In coordination with other state and local partners, the cluster will inaugurate an 85,000 square-foot innovation hub that will include 3D manufacturing and prototyping tools and co-working space/incubation for autonomous system startups.” http://fedscoop.com/new-mexico-cluster-focus-unmanned-autonomous-systems/ See congressional mandate for unmanned combat aircraft and ground combat vehicles @ http://www.kairosautonomi.com/downloads/One_Third%20Unmanned%20by%202015.pdf

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