In May 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration selected the N.C. Department of Transportation as one of 10 participants in its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, which involves implementing drone programs to integrate emerging technology into current state and federal regulations.
UAS Integration Pilot Program is an opportunity for state, local and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, and gather data on the efficiency of drone programs.
The program has two main goals:
- To foster a meaningful dialogue on the balance of local and national interests related to unmanned aircraft systems
- To provide useful data to the U.S. Department of Transportation for expanding and implementing unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System.
The N.C. Division of Aviation's partners are using drones primarily to deliver life-saving medical supplies and to run food delivery services. This will test drone operations that go beyond a pilot’s visual line of sight, but more importantly, it will help improve healthcare access for all North Carolinians.
NCDOT and its partners plan to begin the first flights in the Raleigh area in early fall 2018, before eventually expanding into Dare and Hyde counties later in the year and Charlotte in 2019.
here for updated information and event notifications for the UAS Integration Pilot Program.