FAA Selects Five Airports to Host Drone Safety Tests

The Federal Aviation Administration tapped five airports to host tests aimed at evaluating technologies and systems that could detect and mitigate potential safety risks posed by unmanned aircraft.

[Above photo by Huntsville International Airport.]

This effort is part of the agency’s Airport Unmanned Aircraft Systems Detection and Mitigation Research Program.

Photo by the FAA

The FAA said in a statement that those five airports are:

  • Atlantic City International Airport in Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Syracuse Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York
  • Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio
  • Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, Alabama
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport near Seattle

The agency said those airports meet its requirements for diverse testing environments and are “representative” of airport operating conditions found across the United States.

The FAA added that researchers plan to start testing and evaluating at least 10 technologies or systems later this year on through 2023 that should make airports safer for passengers and manned aircraft in relation to drone operations.

The agency pointed out that the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 requires the agency to ensure that technologies used to detect or mitigate potential risks posed by unmanned aircraft do not interfere with safe airport operations.

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