Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 67

44 unmanned systems inside December 2017/January 2018 T he White House has found a way to head off a fight with local officials, please industry with expanded research and def lect pres- sure for more demanding rule-making all while keeping pretty much everyone happy and getting other folks to foot the bill. While clearly a masterful piece of political carftsmanship, the Integration Pilot Program (IP2) has the poten- tial to be a practical success as well. If it works as planned, and expands as hoped, IP2 could evolve into a broad rapid-prototyping network that could draw participants from all around the world. Announced by President Trump on October 25, the IP2 program would have the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) work out deals with a minimum of five teams of problem solv- ers headed up by state, local or tribal entities. These entities are to partner with the private sector in what appears to be a nearly wide-open, three-year effort to hammer out real-world drone and f light-support technology plus the policy and operational details needed to make unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operation both practical and acceptable to the public. Though a lot of the fine print is still being worked out, the pilot program supports three broad objectives: Could FAA Create a Nationwide Skunk Works for Drone Integration? WASHINGTON VIEW by DEE ANN DIVIS, EDITOR Dee Ann Divis has covered GNSS and the aerospace industry since the early 1990s, writing for Jane's International Defense Review, the Los Angeles Times, AeroSpace Daily and other publications. She was the science and technology editor at United Press International for five years, leaving for a year to at tend the Massachuset ts Institute of Technology as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow. IN BRIEF The Integration Pilot Program is evolving into a rapid-prototyping experiment designed to test out both drone technology and state/local policy. The program has the potential, with some addition resources, to become a dispersed version of the famous Skunk Works dedicated to practical drone integration. (1) Test and evaluate various models of state, local, and tribal government involvement in the development and enforcement of federal regu- lations for UAS operations; (2) Encourage UAS owners and operators to develop and safely test new and innovative UAS concepts of operations; and (3) Inform the development of future federal guidelines and regulatory decisions on UAS op- erations nationwide. "The integration of drones into our national airspace will be the biggest technical challenge to aviation since the beginning of the jet age," said Elaine Chao, secretary of the Department of Transportation, at the official launch of the pro- gram in Washington on November 2. "Our job is to help prepare the way for this new technology so that they can be safely deployed and usher in a new era of aviation service, accessibility and capability." The rapid-fire implementation plan for IP2 means the program is unlikely to be slowed by an extended period of federal coordination, require- ments setting or other forms of delay by rumina- tion. While new rules will doubtlessly (and appro- priately) go through those processes, the White House has given DOT and the FAA just 180 days to find and sign up those first five teams. on Integration Pilot Program

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Inside Unmanned Systems - DEC 2017 - JAN 2018