|The UTM Pilot Program (UPP) is an initiative jointly led by the FAA and NASA. In January 2019, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced the selection of the service entities that will develop and demonstrate technology to manage the airspace for the safe deployment of drones in the US National Airspace System (NAS).
For the FAA, the UPP’s primary goal is twofold: on the one hand, to gather data that can be used for future rulemakings; on the other hand, to develop, demonstrate, and provide enterprise services that will support the implementation of initial UTM operations. In this way, the UTM Pilot Program bridges the research activities and operational deployment of future UTM capabilities.
Together with the FAA-designated State of Nevada UAS Test Site and a consortium of partners, Unifly will demonstrate the integrated UTM ecosystem comprised of UTM services that will support the sharing of situational awareness information amongst UTM participants such as UAS operators, UAS Service Suppliers (USS), and the FAA. The capabilities that will be demonstrated as part of the UPP include the creation and sharing of flight intent, operation status and volume, dynamic airspace restrictions, and Part 107 authorizations. In particular, the Nevada UPP team will focus on advancing safe drone operations in an urban environment.
“Our Nevada Team is very much looking forward to evolving and safely integrating aerial drones into the National Airspace System. Our participating partners are the very best across the UAS Industry and each one brings an incredible capability to Nevada” said Dr. Chris Walach, Executive/Senior Director of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site and Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems. This past year, Business Facilities magazine ranked Nevada second among states for its drone industry, with New York coming in first.
“The UTM Pilot Program is an important milestone for the operational deployment of UTM services in the near future and we are glad to partner once again with the FAA to achieve this objective. Unifly is already actively working together with the Nevada UAS Test Site and our teammates to leverage our unique expertise in large-scale deployment of UTM systems.“, said Laurent Huenaerts, VP & General Manager of Unifly Inc.
About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS): The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and FAA-designated Nevada Unmanned Aviation Test Site leads the growth of the Nevada Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) Industry through business teaming relationships, collaborating with primary research institutions on UAS research and development, and enhancing the Nevada UAS Industry knowledge base to attract new and permanent business and create jobs in the State of Nevada.
Unifly is a leading Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) software provider. The company has developed a state-of-the-art software platform that connects authorities with the operators to safely and securely integrate drones into the airspace. Unifly has operations in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and offices in the United States, Belgium, and Denmark. With a global presence, Unifly has a built unique expertise in deploying UTM systems at large scale in partnership with an ecosystem of partners that includes Civil Aviation Authorities, Air Navigation Service Providers, airports, local authorities, UAS operators, global technology providers, research centers, and academic institutions.