ND Sen, UAS test team working with FAA on drone delivery waiver

By Luke Geiver | March 25, 2020

The leading unmanned aircraft system test range in the U.S. may be increasing its support and help in making near-term drone deliveries to areas in urgent need of supplies a reality.

Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D., has reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Administer, Stephen Dickson, requesting that the FAA allow the use of drones to deliver supplies to areas in urgent needs. The request by Hoeven is a follow-up to an earlier request by the Northern Plains UAS Test site asking the FAA to consider such operations in the right settings.

“North Dakota is the nation’s test bed for UAS, and considering the challenging times facing our nation, it makes sense to use this expertise to advance solutions that ensure needs are being met around the nation,” Hoeven said.

To date, some hospital campuses and other small-scale, controlled flight areas have utilized drones to deliver small loads via drone.

“Small UAS can accelerate the delivery of critically-needed supplies across the country, such as food and medicine, saving time and money, while also reducing the risks of transmitting COVID-19. We’re working with the FAA to get the right waivers in place so these kinds of low-risk, high-reward operations can move forward.”