While UAS technology has advanced rapidly in the last few years, the widespread use of drones is limited by the lack of a widespread low-altitude air traffic management system to ensure drones can safely fly at altitudes below 2,000 feet without fear of collision and do not pose a threat to people and property on the ground.
Because this system does not exist, the federal government generally restricts anyone, without special permission -- including other government agencies – from flying drones unless the operator can always see the aircraft. For most commercial scenarios, such as package delivery and person transport, this limitation makes drone usage impractical, if not impossible.
FlyOhio, an initiative of the Ohio UAS Center and DriveOhio, seeks to address this gap by coordinating ongoing UAS research throughout Ohio, while identifying and pursuing future research opportunities, to make Ohio airspace among the first in the nation ready to fly beyond line of sight. The UAS Center will work with public, private and research partners on the technology needed to allow numerous drones, operated remotely, to fly safely over longer distances without fear they will collide with other aircraft, ground-based objects or pose a threat to humans.
Further, by refining low-altitude air traffic control system, we can solve long-term congestion issues, and bring the use of unmanned aircraft for freight, package and personal transportation closer to reality.