Wednesday, November 13, 2019

KDOT conducts first UAS flight without visual observers

Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz addresses the crowd about the importance of investing
in our future success with aviation.

It’s another first in the U.S. for the Kansas Department of Transportation as the Division of Aviation conducted its first unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flights without visual observers and using only onboard detect-and-avoid systems.

Kansas has a proud tradition of recognizing the opportunities that can be achieved through the skies,” said. Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers. “Implementing new technology is never easy, but KDOT is up to the challenge.”

Aviation is a vital mode of transportation in Kansas that supports thousands of jobs, transports good across the state and improves safety through access to air ambulance service.

“The investments we make in aviation are not only important for our economy today, but they’re critical for future success,” Secretary Lorenz said. “I look forward to working with all of you to build transportation infrastructure that will propel our state to the next level.”

KDOT was selected in May 2018 by the U.S. DOT as one of only 10 organizations in the nation to lead the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP), an initiative aimed at shaping the future of drones. In August 2018, KDOT flew the first beyond the line of sight UAS flight under the program.

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