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UAS Integration Pilot Program Launched

On Thursday, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced the Drone Integration Pilot Program. The program follows a directive from President Donald Trump to initiate a pilot program to safely test and validate advanced operations through various partnerships across the country. The pilot program will evaluate a variety of operational concepts, including night operations, flights over people, flights beyond the pilot’s line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies, counter-UAS security operations, reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft, as well as local management of UAS operations.

This pilot program is about giving states and communities a hand in writing a new chapter in aviation history. Their initiative and leadership, partnering with some of the most innovative companies in America, will benefit them beyond the program and strengthen their positions as technology pioneers and leaders.

U.S. DOT officials have put on display a Federal Register Notice laying out the timeframe, requirements, and goals of the new program. Here is how you can get involved.

How to Apply

  1. Notice of Intent – Any State, Local or Tribal Government seeking to participate must submit a notice of intent within 20 days of the publication of the Federal Register Notice.
  • DOT encourages prospective applicants to work closely with all relevant State and Local law enforcement agencies.
  • Prospective applicants may submit a notice of intent before establishing a project partnership.
  • Instructions for this submission are available at

2. Application Submission

  • Applicants will be able to submit applications through the FAA/UAS Program Portal until 57 days after the publication of the Federal Register Notice.
  • Some examples of pieces an applications may include:

Identification of airspace to be used, including shape files and altitudes

Description of the types of planned operations

Identification of stakeholder partners

Identification of available infrastructure

Description of existing UAS operator

Description of plans to address safety, security, competition, privacy concerns and community outreach.

  • The applicants may request reasonable time, place and manor limitations.


  1. Selection Process
  • DOT may select among complete applications on a rolling basis and may exclude incomplete applications from consideration.
  • The Lead Applicant must be prepared to enter into a MOA with the FAA governing the terms of its participation within five days.


If you are interested in the UAS Integration Pilot Program, we encourage you to participate in one of the three upcoming webinars. Each webinar will provide you with an overview of the Program, application process, and the specific criteria and deadlines that you will be required to meet.

The webinars will be held on the following times. Registration is required to attend.

Friday, November 3 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Monday, November 6 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Monday, November 6 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Details about applying, timelines, and requirements are provided in a Federal Register notice and in a Screening Information Request (SIR). Links to both documents will be available at

The FAA UAS Integration Office will be holding an additional webinar for NASAO Members on Thursday, November 16 at 3 p.m. ET. Details on registering are forthcoming.

Resource Doucments:


Sample Template Op-Ed.11.2

UAS Integration Pilot Program Q_A

Final Release for DOT Drones Event. 11.2.2017

Sec. Chao Remarks


Categories: News
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