Kansas, AirMap announce first-of-kind UAS traffic management deal

By Luke Geiver | August 16, 2017

California-based AirMap is bringing its unmanned aircraft vehicle traffic management system to Kansas. Through a partnership with the Kansas Department of Transportation, AirMap will deploy its UTM system across the state. Airports will have access to the UTM system, giving them the ability to accept digital flight notices from drones, communication with drone pilots and potentially the ability to automate airspace notifications and authorize commercial flights in the future.

“Together, we will foster an environment that allows unmanned systems to contribute to the state economy,” said Richard Carlson, secretary of transportation at KDOT.

Kansas has a long history of working with and developing UAS. The state has more than 18 years of UAS-related research activity and was one of the first in the country to offer a UAS Bachelor’s degree. As a whole, the aviation industry infuses more than $20.6 billion into the state’s economy with over 73 percent of the world’s general aviation fleet manufactured in Kansas and more than 700 aerospace and aviation companies located there, according to KDOT.

Through the partnership, state agencies and higher education institutions can use the AirMap platform, and, training will be given to support local drone operations and provide safety-critical information. The system will also be available for first responders to conduct situational awareness and flight planning.

AirMap has also created partnerships with more than 50 airports across the U.S. to utilize its system.