The deadline for the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program is approaching fast. Lead Applicants have until 2pm EST today to complete their Volumes III, IV, V and VI.

The FAA warns in a tweet that: “You will not be able to continue with the program if you do not meet the deadline.”

Commercial drone operators represent the majority of the interested parties that have submitted their applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s UAS Integration Pilot Program.

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FAA warns about upcoming deadline

In their latest press update from December 14, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that their submission list had been updated with an additional 279 entries, bringing the combined total to 2,821 submitted applications.

The previous deadline was December 15th, before which all Lead Applicants had to submit their Volumes I and II. Today at 2pm EST is the deadline to submit the remaining Volumes III, IV, V and VI.

The Department of Transportation will select a minimum of five partnerships out of all the applicants and by May 7th, the FAA and the lead applicants will enter into a memorandum of agreement before any drone testing can take place.

President Donald Trump launched Pilot Program

The Pilot Program was launched by President Donald Trump to speed up the integration of UAS or drones into the national airspace system. Creating partnerships between UAS operators, government bodies, and other private stakeholders is seen as a crucial component of the program. Under the program, UAS operators will be able to conduct tests such as fly-at-night drone operations, drone flights over crowds, drone flights beyond the pilot’s line of sight, drone delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies, counter-UAS security operations, reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft, as well as local management of UAS operations. All tests will be subject to FAA oversight.

Industries that could benefit from these new opportunities for unmanned aerial vehicles are agriculture, inspections, insurance, construction, logistics, first-aid responders and more.

Recently we reported on a blood delivery service to be set up in Palo Alto, California that applied for the Pilot Program. Elsewhere in the world, away from stringent airspace regulations, such services are being deployed with great success. See for instance our story on Zipline.

Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI recently issued a public statement, inviting state, local and tribal governments to consider partnering with DJI as they apply to take part in a new U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) program, called the Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Pilot Program, to accelerate the safe integration of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the national airspace.

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