Ohio Airport Gets Funded to Study ‘Sense and Avoid’ Systems

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The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Air Force Research Lab are teaming together to test sense and avoid systems at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport in Ohio.

The hope is that the FAA will approve the airport for beyond line of sight drone testing, which would make it the first airport to be given such clearance in the US. According to the plan, the drones will be monitored by a new ground-based sensor system developed by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

If approved the $5 million investment will be money well spent as it will draw companies like Amazon to the airport to take advantage of its clearance for beyond line of site testing.

Ohio is an interesting place for beyond line of sight testing of sense and avoid systems as it has rural areas, that are fairly heavily populated. It will be interesting to see how Nevada (the only State designated as a UAV test site) will react and whether it will pursue similar authority to conduct beyond line of site testing.

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