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Safety Risk Mitigation for UAS on and Around Airports

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This research is focused on safely integrating UAS operations with airport operations on and around airport surfaces with manned aircraft operations, as well as on top of and around the same surfaces. The depth of research expertise at the universities involved affords the selection of a set of experts to spearhead a specific use case and shepherd the constructs of each use case through completion. The team will move each use case forward as it reaches key task milestones instead of waiting for the completion of that task for all use cases. This will allow less complex use cases to be completed more quickly and inform the process for more challenging use cases. Flight testing may occur in a parallel effort to other tasks so results of the flight testing can be analyzed well in advance of the flight test reports and the final report due date. Flight testing will be conducted at airports appropriate to each unique use case. The universities associated with this project all have relationships with airports of different airspace classes and tower conditions, so testing representative use cases across multiple airspace classes are possible with this research team. The flight operations will be conducted under the auspices of the three FAA UAS Test Sites (the University of Alaska UAS Test Site, the New Mexico State University UAS Flight Test Site, and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site) identified for conducting ASSURE flight testing. All universities involved in this project have working relationships with these three test sites. Additionally, many of these universities have developed their own policies, procedures and criteria for conducting UAS flight tests on and around airport surfaces.

Project Lead
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Dr. Catherine F. Cahill
Director | Alaska Center for UAS Integration
Geophysical Institute