The Federal Aviation Administration has picked the Kansas Department of Transportation to be a part of the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program. This program will help state, local and tribal governments partner with private sector drone operators and manufacturers to expedite drone integration nationwide.
U.S. Senator Pat Roberts said “Kansas is and always has been a leader in aviation,” said Senator Roberts. “I look forward to seeing the many innovative ways KDOT, along with our state universities, will use unmanned aircraft technologies to help a variety of industries including agriculture.”
“Kansas has a rich aviation heritage and I am proud to say that for UAS research, testing and development, Kansas is once again leading the way on the national and global stage,” said Senator Jerry Moran. “Kansas is the first state to have Unmanned Traffic Management in place for all state agencies, airports and institutes of higher education and the selection of the Integration Pilot Program will allow Kansas to build upon our momentum and unlock the incredible economic potential this technology can have for our country.”
According to the FAA, the program is an opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to accelerate safe UAS integration. The program will help the U.S. Department of Transportation and FAA craft new enabling rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations by:
- Identifying ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration
- Improving communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions
- Addressing security and privacy risks
- Accelerating the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.
The State of Kansas was the first state to name a director for Unmanned Aircraft Systems and has already deployed an unmanned traffic management system.
The program aims to identify security and privacy risks, improve communications between local, state and tribal jurisdictions, balance local and national interests related to drones and accelerate the approval of operations that currently require special authorization.
This program is expected to help the agriculture industry, photographers, emergency management, infrastructure inspections and commerce.