FAA continues work on drone integration initiatives

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced two new participants for the unmanned aircraft Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP). The FAA’s NextGen program selected Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership in Blacksburg, Va., and Griffiss International Airport in Rome, N.Y., as test site participants for Phase 2 of the pilot program.

UPP Phase 2 will showcase capabilities and services that support high-density Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations, including remote identification (Remote ID) services and public safety operations. Data collected from Phase 2 test activities will help inform a cross-agency Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Implementation Plan.

UPP Phase 1 was completed in August 2019 in collaboration with NASA, FAA UAS test sites and their industry partners. Phase 1 tested capabilities such as the exchange of flight intent data among UAS operators. Participants also generated UAS Volume Reservations (UVRs), which are notifications to operators about inbound priority operations.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (PDF) extended the objectives of the UPP to include testing Remote ID technologies and operations with increasing volumes and density to enable safe beyond-visual-line-of-sight UAS operations.

Although many partners have been involved with the project, ATM Magazine had the opportunity to discuss the initiative with ANRA Technologies, who has been involved with this program during Phase 1 and is continuing on during the second Phase of the program.  “ANRA has played a key role in working on many of these standards and developmental activities leading up to this Phase 2 award and we are excited to have our SmartSkies™ UTM platform be a key part of both of the selected projects”, said Brent Klavon, Vice President of Operations at ANRA Technologies