Thursday, October 21, 2021

UAS Safety: Efforts Underway at Lone Star UAS Center

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas –With news of a drone striking a British Airways flight on Sunday, April 17, attention is again on the safety of integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones, in the airspace with piloted aircraft.

The Lone Star UAS Center at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is one of six federally designated test sites working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop procedures to safely allow drones in the national airspace.

Lone Star UAS Center Executive Director Jerry Hendrix is available to speak to safety issues of flying drones and steps that are underway to address two key concerns, certification/credentialing and traffic management.

Please call Ana Nelson at 361.825.2427 or 361.929.0428 (cell) to schedule an interview.

The Lone Star UAS Center (LSUASC) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, in conjunction with Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, has developed the first-in-the-nation credentialing program for UAS operators.

The program reviews internal operational processes and procedures to ensure UAS operators are knowledgeable on how to safely operate UAS.

“Once the firms successfully complete the credentialing program, other state agencies and large companies with a need for UAS will have some level of confidence that these firms will be able to conduct the required UAS mission as required within existing FAA procedures and rules in a safe manner,” Hendrix said.

Credentialing is one of the steps that will allow UAS to operate safely in the airspace with other piloted aircraft.

LSUASC is also involved in another critical step, that of traffic management, recently participating with NASA and the other five FAA-approved test sites in the testing of a research platform that is in development to track all UAS in a certain area.

“The key point is that the LSUASC has a good understanding of the issues regarding privacy and safe operation of UAS in the national airspace,” Hendrix said. “Officials are pro-actively working to identify workable solutions with key governmental entities including the FAA, NASA, Department of Homeland Security and top Fortune 200 companies.”