On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration revealed its selections for testing drone flights in the U.S. The FAA is conducting research into how unmanned aircraft will mix with planes piloted by human beings, which are, by this point, considered very two thousand and late.
Here are the Chosen Ones: the University of Alaska, which will conduct tests in Alaska (duh), Oregon, and Hawaii; the entire State of Nevada, where a key area of scrutiny will be the busy airways on its border with California; Griffis International Airport in upstate New York; the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, which is the only site in a Temperate climate zone; Texas A&M; and Virginia Tech, which has an agreement with Rutgers to also test in New Jersey.
The purpose of the test flights is to determine policies for how unmanned aircraft used by both public and private organizations will operate in domestic airspace. The tests, reports The New York Times, "will explore how to set safety standards, train and certify ground-based pilots, ensure that the aircraft will operate safely even if radio links are lost and, most important, how to replace the traditional method for avoiding collisions."
The FAA hopes to implement a system based on GPS where the locations of every flight are transmitted to all aircraft, allowing drones to automatically avoid collisions with other aircraft. They hope to have these regulations set in order to start easing drones into airspace by 2015.
It's no secret that domestic unmanned aircraft are being eyed for a variety of different purposes. The NYPD has expressed interested in unmanned aerial surveillance for security purposes, while Amazon wants to use drones to send you that external hard drive you impulse-bought at 2 a.m.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.