Trump administration announces initial round of Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program participants

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2018 — In a major step forward for the commercial drone community, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced the first round of participants in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) much-anticipated Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

The selectees announced today drew from a highly-competitive pool of over 200 tribal, state and local governments. States and localities from every region in the country submitted applications showcasing industry partnerships seeking to satisfy the growing demand from Americans across the country for UAS use in support of disaster response, infrastructure inspection, package delivery, and much more.

Regardless of whether or not particular applications succeeded to become a formal pilot program, we anticipate that the public-private partnerships formed to support IPP applications will provide great benefits to the American people.

The 10 selectees are:

  • Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, OK
  • City of San Diego, CA
  • Virginia Tech - Center for Innovative Technology, Herndon, VA
  • Kansas Department of Transportation, Topeka, KS
  • Lee County Mosquito Control District, Ft. Myers, FL
  • Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, Memphis, TN
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, NC
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation, Bismarck, ND
  • City of Reno, NV
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

We were pleased to have assisted the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma with their successful application, and we are thrilled that so many clients and friends in the industry teamed up to form successful applications. We look forward to continuing our work facilitating successful FAA-industry partnerships.

The ten selectees announced today are part of the initial selection round, and the FAA will consider new applicants on a rolling-basis up to one year before the Program is scheduled to terminate in October 2020.

“The IPP is a fantastic program that brings industry and government together to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the commercial drone industry – how to safely fly beyond visual line of sight, over people, and at night in support of critical UAS missions,” said Lisa Ellman, Chair of Hogan Lovells’ Global UAS Practice and Co-Executive Director, Commercial Drone Alliance. “The IPP also provides the opportunity for the federal government to work side by side with states and localities to solve complex regulatory challenges, and the hope is we will see some real progress for the industry as a whole.”

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