The Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department for Transportation have confirmed that it will use airspace in Nevada to test drones as part of its new pilot program.
The UAS Test Site Smart Silver State program, which will test UAVs in urban airspace, will take place in Reno while additional testing will be overseen in Henderson and Laughlin.
According to a report from the Washington Post, Elaine Chao, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, said the new nine-month project is separate from the traditional FAA air traffic management system.
She went on to describe how its aim is to integrate drone flights within the country’s airspace system, create a shared information network and gather for FAA rulemaking.
Chris Walach, executive director of the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, told the Post that the project will help the industry take steps towards BVLOS in built up areas for the likes of deliveries and surveillance.
He said: “This is going from the little league of within-visual-line-of-sight for drone operations to advanced protocols and concepts. This will certainly contribute to advancing the industry for package delivery and other operations that need to occur inside a city.”