Drones soon to be tested over New Jersey skies

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USGS photo / The William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center will be the lead facilitator of data collected from six test sites working to safely integrate unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. USGS photo / The William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center will be the lead facilitator of data collected from six test sites working to safely integrate unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. Each test site will have specific regulations to protect the privacy of surrounding residents and businesses

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Drones will soon be tested in New Jersey’s airspace as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s unmanned aerial systems test site program, U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo, chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, announced on Monday, Aug. 11.

 Earlier in the day, the FAA announced that the joint New Jersey-Virginia-Maryland test site for integrating commercial unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace has become operational.

“Today’s launch of the New Jersey-Virginia-Maryland unmanned aerial systems test site is a monumental step to integrating UAS into our national air space, unlocking the unlimited applications and economic opportunities this technology will bring,” said LoBiondo. “The UAS test site, in conjunction with the ground-breaking work carried out at the FAA Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, is further demonstrating that our region is a hub for aviation research, development and testing. As we move towards full testing at various South Jersey facilities exploring a wide-range of environments and conditions, we must ensure that the public’s safety and privacy are maintained.” 

The states’ joint application was put forth by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Rutgers University with support from the governors of New Jersey and Virginia. LoBiondo, working closely with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, led the New Jersey’s Congressional efforts to secure the designation. Maryland joined the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership in 2014. All six test sites are now operational. There is no federal funding from the FAA for any test site.

The FAA Technical Center will be the lead facilitator of data collected from each of the six test sites, working to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace as mandated by the 2012 FAA Authorization Act – a provision LoBiondo advocated for inclusion during the bill’s drafting and debate.

While each test site will have specific regulations to protect the privacy of surrounding residents and businesses, Congress continues to evaluate further legislative options to address civil liberty concerns.

Read more:

New Jersey selected by FAA as one of test sites for unmanned aircraft systems


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