Washington, DC - “Our Nation will move faster, fly higher, and soar proudly toward the next great chapter of American aviation.” ~ President Donald J. Trump

BRINGING AMERICAN AVIATION INTO THE 21ST CENTURY: President Donald J. Trump and his Administration are creating a new drone Integration Pilot Program that will accelerate drone integration into the national airspace system.

• With the increase in the number of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly called drones, America’s aviation pioneers need a regulatory framework that encourages innovation while ensuring airspace safety.

• America’s regulatory framework for aviation is outdated, limiting the integration of drones into the national airspace system and driving American technology companies to seek commercial testing and deployment opportunities overseas.

• Under this pilot program, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will enter into agreements with State, local, and tribal governments to establish innovation zones for testing complex UAS operations and to attempt different models for integrating drones into local airspace.

o Using existing Federal authorities, the program will accelerate testing of currently restricted UAS operations – such as beyond-visual-line-of-sight flights and flights over people.

o This program will open the skies for the delivery of life-saving medicines and commercial packages, inspections of critical infrastructure, support for emergency management operations, and surveys of crops for precision agriculture applications.

o The pilot program will also allow testing of new UAS traffic management systems and detection and tracking capabilities, which are needed to fully integrate UAS operations into the national airspace system.

o The pilot program will increase the number and complexity of UAS operations across the Nation, and will help in the development of a future national aviation regulatory framework that can fuel American leadership in unmanned aviation.

o Jurisdictions eager to participate in the program are strongly encouraged to work closely with industry partners and technical experts to draft proposals for participation.

THE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICAN AERONAUTICS: Drones are a critical, fast-growing part of American aviation, increasing efficiency, productivity, and jobs.

• UAS, commonly called drones, present opportunities to enhance the safety of the American public, increase the efficiency and productivity of American industry, and create tens of thousands of new American jobs.

• The dramatic increase in UAS deployment in the United States is unprecedented.

o Over one million UAS owners have registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

o The number of commercial UAS are projected to increase fivefold by 2021.

• The FAA UAS Integration Office is coordinating Federal efforts to integrate UAS into the national airspace system 

• Through its “Know Before You Fly” educational campaign, the FAA has developed relationships with almost 150 partners, including drone manufacturers, law enforcement agencies, retailers, labor organizations, and institutions of higher education.