San Diego selected by Trump administration for drone testing program

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A who's who of technology and aviation companies won USA approval to push the edge of the envelope in drone flights, from testing people's tolerance for delivery devices hovering over their rooftops to ensuring farmers' drones won't hit crop dusters.

The Bluff City is 1 of 10 cities selected to participate in the United States Department of Transportation's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program.

Chao, who called the rapidly developing drone industry the biggest development since the jet age, said about 150 applications were received.

The 10 governments selected are: the cities of San Diego and Reno; the Virginia Tech Center for Innovative Technology and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks; the transportation departments of Kansas, North Carolina and North Dakota; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; the Lee County Mosquito Control District in Ft.

The public-private initiative has been strongly backed by the White House as a way to accelerate the approval of operations that now require special authorizations. We are supportive of testing and research in the FAA Unmanned Aircraft System pilot program. Memphis International is the hub for operations by FedEx, which is a partner in the program. The company believes the tests are an important step for helping the industry overcome public unease about privacy and nuisance issues raised by the growth of small drones, said William Goodwin, AirMap's general counsel.

"I know it can't be before 2015, because that's the earliest we could get the rules from the FAA", Bezos said at the time.

For Scott and Lauren Ready, using drones allows them to expand services with their company Forever Ready Productions.

The North Dakota DOT listed several possible drone activities under the program, including reconstructing traffic crashes, expediting emergency responses during floods and inspecting pipelines.

Richard Carlson, Kansas' secretary of transportation, said in a statement that the program could give the state new ways "to reduce the risks to our workers during infrastructure inspections, search and rescue, and remote area assessments".

Different agencies will test different drone operations.

There isn't any drone delivery in the US yet, but Alphabet has been testing delivering packages to people's backyards in Australia.

Some reports have also said that 10 government companies are going to conduct the flight testing.

Once the winners are announced, "the FAA will be reaching out to other applicants, as well as interested state and local authorities, to provide additional information on how to operationalize their proposed projects", Lawrence said in his remarks. Drones will be operated beyond visual line of sight of operators, and pilots will be alerted to the presence of drones.

"The days aren't far off when millions of drones will be flying in the airspace", Blanks said in a statement. So-called beyond-visible-line-of-sight flights offer some of the greatest potential for commercial operations, but they also are among the most hard technically to ensure they don't strike other aircraft or veer off course.

Brockman said the airport authority has been working on the application since past year.

Chao said the U.S.is at a tipping point in the introduction of drones.

With assistance from Thomas Black.

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