UAS’s future is highly anticipated
FAA has 7 UAS Test Sites
NUAIR @ Griffiss is testing UTM across the 50 mile corridor
Successful Completion critical to UAS’ future
Below are 2 informative articles about the FAA’s actions to test Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) systems’ ability to safely control these aircraft. The reports fairly layout the challenges.
UAS flight is another mode of air transportation which holds great promise. The list of new entrepreneurs entering this sector is growing exponentially. Developers of the new aerial vehicles, companies focusing on the ground infrastructure, future operators, technical organizations designing the systems required to control these aircraft safely, entities preparing to provide the ATC service, computer applications for the package distributions, and on and on…
None of these commercial ventures will be authorized to provide high volume, commercial services UNTIL THE UTM TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BE SAFE!!!
Thursday, August 11, 2022
This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a task order contract to the New York UAS Test Site for an unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) integration project. The project is designed to assist in the development of a UAS traffic management (UTM) system and to promote the safe operation of high-volume drone operations.
This UTM Field Test project (Project) will be overseen by the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, Inc. (NUAIR), a New York-based nonprofit that manages the operations of the FAA-designated New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York. NUAIR led the efforts for New York’s 50-mile UAS Corridor that runs between the cities of Rome and Syracuse. The Project will be conducted in this Corridor and will provide the FAA with information useful to policy development and standards for beyond visual line-of-sight drone operations. Such operations are critical to the advancement and widespread integration of commercial drone operations in the national airspace at low altitudes.
The demand for the operation of drones in low altitude airspace (i.e., below 400 feet) continues to increase, especially after the pandemic, when the desire for at-home and instantaneous delivery grew. The FAA seeks to support these complex drone operations in a safe and efficient manner. Projects like the Field Test will assist in improving UTM and other necessary technologies and systems. The Project went live in July and is set for completion by Spring 2023. In addition to NUAIR’s management of the Project, ANRA Technologies, AX Enterprize, Cal Analytics, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Oneida Indian Nation, and OneSky will partner and collaborate as well. Through these industry partners and local government, the UTM infrastructure will be updated so the FAA and the drone community can help build a better ecosystem.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA 2012) directed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator to initiate a 5-year program to establish 6 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites to support the FAA in integrating UAS into the national airspace system (NAS). After conducting a competitive selection process, the FAA designated six UAS Test Sites, which became operational in 2014 and began to conduct test flights. In 2016, the FAA added a seventh test site as mandated by the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 (FESSA 2016). The following list names the seven FAA UAS Test Sites:
- Griffiss International Airport, NY
- New Mexico State University, NM
- North Dakota Department of Commerce, ND
- State of Nevada, NV
- Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, TX
- University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, VA
The main objective of the UAS Test Site Program is to provide verification of the safety of public and civil UAS, operations, and related navigation procedures before their integration into the NAS. Other program requirements include supporting the FAA during the development of certification standards, air traffic requirements, coordinating research and other work with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), FAA NextGen, the Department of Defense, and other Federal agencies.
UAS Test Site Operations
As Public Aircraft Operators, the UAS Test Sites support their respective States by conducting governmental functions such as aeronautical research, biological and geological resource management, search and rescue, and public safety (firefighting and law enforce). They work closely with their Public Safety officials to support their training and demonstrations and integrate this unmanned technology with Public Safety procedures.
As Civil Aircraft Operators, the UAS Test Sites support their clients by assisting them develop their concept of operations, safety risk management plans, and flight-test their UAS technologies. Other areas supported by the UAS Test Sites include developing safety cases and risk mitigation strategies, preparing aviation rules ,waiver and/or airspace authorization material, providing flight testing infrastructure, and supporting clients in their receipt of Special Airworthiness Certificates in the Experimental Category as needed. The UAS Test Sites have conducted civil operations research and demonstrations for their clients, including research of technology and concepts for national critical infrastructure inspections, package delivery, UAS Traffic Management demonstrations, and urban air mobility.
The UAS Test Sites are focusing their research and demonstration operations on the following areas, supporting the FAA advance these technologies and concepts:
- Detect and avoid (DAA)
- Command and Control (C2)
- Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations
- Standards for the safe operation of UAS in various airspace classes
- Air traffic control operational and communications procedures
- Multiple UAS operations
- Counter UAS
- UAS Traffic Management (UTM)
- Test and evaluation of proposed UAS standards, processes and procedures
- Environmental impacts
- Urban Air Mobility
The original 5-year program was extended for two more years under FESSA 2016, then extended another four years under the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (FRA 2018), and is scheduled to continue until September 30, 2023.
 The FAA is conducting the UFT in collaboration with two FAA Test Sites:
- Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership in partnership with Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation, Texas
- Griffiss International Airport, New York
Share this article: