10 UAS Integration Pilot Program Sites Revealed

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its choices for its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program; an initiative announced last fall to check and validate innovative drone operations throughout partnerships throughout the nation. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) together with local, tribal and state authorities, which then associate with private-sector participants to safely investigate the additional integration of UAS. “Data gathered by these pilot projects can form the cornerstone of a new regulatory frame to securely incorporate drones to our domestic airspace,” states Elaine L. Chao, DOT secretary. “The response to our petition for software revealed the many advanced operational and technological options currently in the world.”


City of San Diego

Proposed Focus Areas:

  • border protection and package delivery of food

Secondary Focus:

  • international commerce
  • Smart City/autonomous vehicle interoperability.


Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Proposed Focus Areas:

  • agricultural,
  • public safety
  • infrastructure inspections
  • planned Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations over people and nighttime activities.


Virginia Tech

Center for Innovative Technology Proposed Focus Areas:

  • package delivery in rural and urban settings
  • detect and avoid
  • Identification and tracking
  • radar systems
  • mapping tools


Kansas DOT

Topeka Proposed Focus Areas: Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations in rural communities. It seeks to leverage a statewide unmanned traffic management system to facilitate precision agriculture operations.


Lee County Mosquito Control District

Ft. Meyers FL Proposed Focus Areas: Low-altitude aerial applications to control/surveillance the mosquito population using a 1500-lb. UAS.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority
Memphis,TN Proposed Focus Areas: Inspection of FedEx aircraft and autonomous operations that support airport operations such as perimeter security surveillance and package delivery. Proposed activities include working with a UTM concept that would also work with manned air traffic.
North Carolina DOT
Raleigh, NC Proposed Focus Areas: Test localized package delivery within defined airspace by establishing drone delivery stations in local communities. This approach enables small businesses to utilize this delivery platform for commercial purposes.
Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority
Bismarck ND Proposed Focus Areas: A wide variety of diverse operations that incorporate advanced technologies that seek to expand UAS operations at night and Beyond Visual Line of Sight.
City of Reno
Reno NV Proposed Focus Areas: focuses on the time-sensitive delivery of life-saving medical equipment, such as medical defibrillators in emergency situations in both urban and rural environments.
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK Proposed Focus Areas Pipeline inspection and surveying in remote areas and harsh climatic conditions, but it has proposed a broad range of other types of operations in urban and rural areas, ranging from public safety to UAS detection.

For more details on each cities’ proposal click here   The initiative is an overdue step forward for the drone industry and will lay down the framework for business to realize the full benefit of drones.