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Reno Will Serve As Test Site For Integrating Drones Into Commercial Air Traffic

Reno Will Serve As Test Site For Integrating Drones Into Commercial Air Traffic

The FAA, Department of Transportation, and NASA have all selected the state of Nevada to test the integration of drones into our airspace.

Thursday, April 25th 2019, 5:55 PM PDT by Ryan Canaday

Updated: 

Thursday, April 25th 2019, 6:03 PM PDT

The FAA, Department of Transportation, and NASA have all selected the state of Nevada to test the integration of drones into our airspace.

Previously, testing for the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems only took place in rural areas.

However, for the first time in U.S. aviation history, drones will fly beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight in a metropolitan area, specifically the heart of downtown Reno.

“This will serve as the foundational effort of what unmanned traffic management will become around the U.S. and around the world,” says David Hansell, the public policy manager with DJI.

The tests will be different from the recreational drone flights that many people do as a hobby. Rather than flying for fun, these flights will test how drones can safely become a part of our everyday air traffic for important daily tasks.

“We’re closer to package delivery than people realize,” says Chris Walach, the executive director of the NIAS. “Passenger drone travel, that’s being tested every month here in Nevada and across the country.”

Despite the benefits that can come from these tests, there will also likely be a set of challenges and difficulties. After all, operating above people and near tall buildings is much different than taking flight in a remote setting.

“When you operate in the city, communications are affected, navigation is affected and surveillance is affected,” says Walach.

Reno is partnering with the top drone manufacturer in the country for these tests. In doing so, the city is also accepting two important pieces of technology that will help to monitor all the activity happening in the Nevada airspace during flights.

“The FAA’s main concern is keeping the general public and the flying public safe,” says Hansell.

To ensure that everything goes according to plan on the ground and in the air during the tests, NIAS will use an advanced DJI drone for aerial inspection and a monitoring system called AeroScope.

“It’s able to detect the majority DJI drones that are flying within its operational radius and display those to the operators on the ground,” says Hansell.

Original media source:

http://www.ktvn.com/story/40371443/reno-will-serve-as-test-site-for-integrating-drones-into-commercial-air-traffic