The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Nasa and unmanned aircraft system (UAS) partners have completed a pilot programme involving the demonstration of UAS traffic management system.

Earlier this year, the FAA picked three sites in the US for the UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP) test.

Demonstrations indicated that several Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations can be carried out safely at less than 400ft altitude in the airspace. This is possible only in airspace where the FAA does not provide air traffic services.

In a statement, the FAA said: “As demand for low-altitude drone use increases, the FAA, Nasa and UPP partners are working together to accommodate these operations safely and efficiently.”

The first demonstration was carried out at Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (VT MAAP) test site.

The second demonstration was conducted at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) in Grand Fork, North Dakota.

The third demonstration was performed at Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) in Las Vegas.

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During these demonstrations, operators worked with a UAS Service Supplier (USS) and evaluated UAS Facility Maps.

The UPP demonstration outcome will help in the development and initial deployment of UAS Traffic Management capabilities. The project is currently under the research and development stage.

Based on the results, the FAA will form the UTM regulatory framework.

Set up in April 2017, the UPP plays a key role in determining the preliminary set of industry and FAA capabilities that are needed to sustain UAS Traffic Management operations.