DOT Selects Ten Sites For UAV Integration Pilot Program Written 10 May 2018

The AP reports that Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced Wednesday that 10 sites have been selected for a “test program aimed at increasing the use of unmanned aircraft for projects that range from monitoring crops and oil pipelines in North Dakota to applying mosquito-killing treatments in Florida and package deliveries in Tennessee.” In a statement, Chao explained that data from the pilot projects “will form the basis of a new regulatory framework to safely integrate drones into our national airspace.” Around 150 applications were received. Selected sites include “the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; the cities of San Diego, California, and Reno, Nevada; state transportation departments in North Dakota, North Carolina and Kansas; University of Alaska-Fairbanks; the Center for Innovative Technology in Virginia; Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in Memphis, Tennessee; and the Lee County Mosquito Control District in Fort Meyers, Florida.” According to Transportation Department lawyer Steven Bradbury, UAVs have caused some “apprehension” among the public, but the initiative will work to increase “community awareness and acceptance” of unmanned aircraft. Bradbury added that there is no direct federal funding for the pilot program.
More Info (Associated Press)