A package delivery drone flies over farmland near Blacksburg, Virginia during research flights.

delivery drone over farmland

What is the UAS Integration Pilot Program?

The UAS Integration Pilot Program is designed to foster innovation and advance the safe integration of drones into the national airspace system. 

Overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation and administered by the Federal Aviation Administration, the program will explore how federal and state agencies, local governments, and companies can work together to expand and accelerate the applications for UAS, maximizing their potential for economic growth and human good while responding to the concerns that accompany new technology. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of ten teams selected for the program. These diverse public-private partnerships will have an expedited path to approval for new applications, paving the way for new capabilities that are critical to true UAS integration but require rigorous safety oversight, like operations over people or beyond the operator's line of sight.

Data gathered during the three years of the IPP will help inform the FAA and DOT as they shape policy for this new era in aviation. And one of the most important sources of data will be community feedback -- questions and comments from the public will be the basis of discussions on how to handle the tremendous opportunities and unique challenges of this technology safely and productively. 

 

The Virginia Team

The Virginia team will brings together expertise and resources from industry-leading companies, state agencies, and local communities, focusing on finding innovative, practical solutions for UAS in package delivery, infrastructure inspection, and emergency management -- all areas where drones outmatch other technology and forms of transportation in in safety and efficiency.

State Agencies: 

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority and the Center for Innovative Technology (team lead)
  • Virginia Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence
  • Virginia Department of Aviation
  • Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority
  • Virginia Department of State Police
  • Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership.  

Companies:

  • Airbus Aerial
  • AT&T
  • Dominion Energy
  • HAZON Solutions
  • Intel
  • Project Wing
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • State Farm ®    

Counties:

  • Buckingham
  • Cumberland
  • Loudoun
  • Montgomery
  • Prince Edward
  • Wise