President Donald J. Trump has tasked U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao with the launch of a new initiative to work with select state and local governments to test and validate advanced operations with the drones. The results from the program, The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program will be used to speed up the safe integration of drone flights into the NSA. The program will also focus on fully-realizing the benefits of unmanned technology on the economy.
The initiative will allow companies to work with federal, local, state, and tribal governments to work with each other to develop rules that satisfy all stakeholders and expand the current limitations to allow for businesses to create new safe use cases for UAVs.
The details on the actual implementation of the program are sparse, but the DoT has plans to evaluate at least five applications for unique projects with local municipalities.
“The beauty of this program is that the White House is allowing everyone from cities to states to tribal authorities to apply,” Greg McNeal, co-founder of drone startup AirMap told Fortune in an email. “States and cities will apply to open the airspace for operations that they’re most interested in, that are the best fit for local conditions and complexities, and that allow them to welcome drone operations that can kickstart their drone economy.”