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FAA Picks 6 Sites to Host Drone Testing

The six sites were selected based off a variety of factors


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has chosen six sites to host drone testing.


The FAA chose the different sites based off of their geology, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience and risk.The organization chose the different sites to get a fair amount of diversity in its drone testing.

The six sites approved by the FAA include:

  • University of Alaska – The University of Alaska site will focus on creating standards for drone categories, state monitoring and navigation. The site will cover a wide array of testing areas, including Hawaii and Oregon.
  • State of Nevada – The Nevada site will work on drone standards and operations, operator standards and certification requirements. The site will also look into how air traffic control will change with new drone standards.
  • New York’s Griffiss International Airport – The Griffiss International Airport will study how the introduction of drones will affect northeast air traffic. It will also develop test and evaluation, and verification and validation processes under FAA safety guidelines.
  • North Dakota Department of Commerce – North Dakota will work to create drone airworthiness essential data and validate high reliability link technology. It will also carry out human factors research.
  • Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi – The Texas A&M University site is planning to develop system safety requirements for drones and operations. The goal of these requirements is to create a set of protocols and procedures for airworthiness testing.
  • Virginia Tech – Virginia Tech plans to conduct failure mode testing for drones. The test will work to identify and evaluate operational and technical risks areas in drones.

To see more about the six areas chosen by the FAA to conduct drone testing, click here.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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