The Hill (8/13) reported that the FAA announced that testing at its “sixth and final testing site for the use of commercial drones in American airspace” has begun at Virginia Tech, with additional research to be performed at the University of Maryland and Rutgers University. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement that “We have undertaken the challenge of safely integrating a new and exciting technology into the busiest, most complex airspace in the world.” Foxx also said “The six test sites are going to play a key role in helping us meet that challenge.” The Hill reported that several private companies have urged the FAA to establish regulations for the commercial use of drones.
The AP (8/13) reported that FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe were “shown a demonstration of a drone being developed to research vehicle and highway systems,” which resembles the research that will be performed at Virginia Tech. Huerta said in a press release that the opening of the final research site “will give us more and better data to help expand the safe use of unmanned aircraft into our airspace.”
Similar coverage was provided by the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch (8/13), WDJB-TV Roanoke (VA) Roanoke, VA (8/13), WSET-TV Lynchburg (VA) (8/14), Aviation Today (8/14), Media Bistro (8/14), Aviation International News (8/13), Air Transport World (8/14), Federal Times (8/13), and FierceGovernmentIT (8/14), YesVirginia.org (8/18), Virginia.gov (8/13), FedScoop (8/15), InTheCapital (8/16).