The second phase of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management pilot program (UTM/UPP) ended with testing demonstrations in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) focused on testing remote identification (RID) technology and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, according to a Nov. 17 press release.
The demonstrations used test sites at the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) and the New York UAS Test Site (NYUASTS) with each event attracting over 100 participants. The demonstrations collaborated with local public safety agencies to show complex UTM capabilities in BVLOS operations, according to the release.
The FAA and NASA demonstrated the ability of the FAA to access information from industry with the FAA UTM Flight Information Management System prototype and infrastructure and exchange secure information between the FAA and industry, according to the release. The demonstrations also used UAS volume reservations and in-flight separation to show how UAS would operate in a high-density environment.
“The demonstrations will help move us closer to safe beyond-visual-line-of-sight drone operations,” Pamela Whitley, the FAA’s acting assistant administrator for NextGen, said in a press statement. “Flight testing UTM capabilities in high-density airspace will help us develop policy for safely and efficiently integrating drones into our national airspace while benefiting and serving communities.”
RID capabilities were validated in the demonstrations using data and new technology to confirm the latest international standards. The highly anticipated RID rules from the FAA are set to be released in December.
The UTM/UPP will inform policy considerations, standards developments, and the implementation of a UTM system. The FAA will now use the results of the program to allow stakeholders to develop capabilities based on lessons learned, according to the FAA.