Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, announced today that it is partnering with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in the recently announced Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP).
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has selected UAF as one of 10 participants in the IPP to work with state, local and tribal governments, and UAS operators and manufacturers to accelerate the safe integration of unmanned vehicles into the nation's airspace. The pilot program is expected to help resolve issues and create balance between local and national interests in unmanned aircraft usage.
Insitu will work with UAF in safely demonstrating capabilities such as operations over urban settings, night operations and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights. Insitu's vast experience, including achieving more than 1 million operational flight hours, flying ongoing BVLOS missions day and night in Australia and operating the first FAA-sanctioned UAS BVLOS flights in the National Airspace System (NAS) will prove invaluable for this program.
The IPP is intended to help inform the USDOT and the FAA in establishing aviation rules to allow additional complex low-altitude operations by:
- Identifying ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration
- Improving communication with local, state and tribal jurisdictions
- Addressing security and privacy risks
- Accelerating the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations
"Being part of the IPP is an exciting opportunity for our commercial team to collaboratively work with UAF. We'll be demonstrating new and advanced capabilities that will continue to increase the safety of flight within the NAS, while simultaneously expanding the operational envelopes in which UAS can operate — such as night operation and BVLOS," said Esina Alic, Insitu president and chief executive officer. "Over the years, we have been working with the FAA to support their goal of safely integrating UAS into the NAS, and we are proud to continue to bring into this effort our nearly 25 years of UAS experience, The Boeing Company's 100 years of aviation experience, and our professional operations teams."
Cathy Cahill, director of the Alaska Center for UAS Integration in the UAF Geophysical Institute added, "We are thrilled to have Insitu as an IPP technology partner, and we are confident that through this collaboration we will quickly make great strides in the safe operation of UASs in Alaskan airspace."
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