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FAA Concludes UAS Integration Pilot Effort; Michael Kratsios Quoted

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Michael Kratsios
Michael Kratsios DoD

The Federal Aviation Administration signed agreements to address gaps in unmanned aircraft system integration (UAS) activities to mark the conclusion of a pilot program launched by the agency. UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) successfully concluded on Oct. 25. 

“The three years of information gathered under the drone Integration Pilot Program will be applied to a new initiative called BEYOND, which will further advance the safe integration of drones into our national air space,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program was launched by FAA to inform ongoing rulemaking, guidance and policies for the implementation of drones into the U.S. airspace, the Department of Transportation said Friday.

Nine state, local and tribal government organizations took part in the pilot initiative. The participants utilized FAA's regulations to carry out various safety cases such as package delivery, flood damage assessment and inspection of pipelines and power lines.

FAA formalized agreements with eight of the nine IPP participants to join the BEYOND program, an effort that seeks to drive the safe implementation of drones into the U.S. air space.

The selected participants are:

  • Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • City of Reno, Nevada
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority of Virginia
  • Kansas Department of Transportation
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks


“The IPP propelled the American drone industry forward, allowing for unprecedented expansions in testing and operations through innovative private-public partnerships across the country. Now, the BEYOND program will build upon this success, tackling the next big challenges facing drone integration. The Trump Administration remains committed to the safe and innovative development of drone technologies for the benefit of the American people,” said U.S. CTO and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient Michael Kratsios.