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Task force tackling unmanned aerial systems issues

Posted March 25, 2019

a drone in the sky
Potential commercial uses for drones include disaster relief, medical emergencies and cargo transportation.

The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) — commonly known as drones — continues to grow quickly as the technology evolves. The number of hobbyists is expected to grow to 2.4 million by 2022, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. This would represent more than twice as many unmanned aircraft as were in the skies in 2017.

Commercial use is anticipated to expand rapidly as well. It is expected to grow from 110,604 to 461,800 over the same five-year period. Potential commercial uses for drones include disaster relief, medical emergencies and cargo transportation.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments assembled the North Texas UAS Safety and Integration Task Force to serve as an information clearinghouse for academia, public- and private-sector entities, and the general public. To effectively address integration issues and carry out solutions, the task force has formed working groups focused on education and public awareness, legislation, training and integration. Each working group is responsible for identifying specific issues, providing recommendations and determining the scale of the solution and the funding required. The working groups will:

  • Create a public outreach strategy.
  • Explore methods to educate the public on the safe use of drone technology in the region’s airspace.
  • Weigh in on industry legislative concerns.
  • Establish or recommend a standardized training curriculum.
  • Survey regional businesses on current employment needs.
  • Designate UAS platform test areas.
  • Monitor changes in laws, rules and regulations affecting the drone industry.

NASA, in collaboration with task force partners, will soon be testing drone technology in the region in an effort to provide commercial operators a better understanding of the issues associated with unmanned flights in urban areas. This will be an integral step forward for concurrent manned and unmanned operations with an eye toward full autonomy.

Learn more about UAS.

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Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. April 22, 2019; City Hall, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Northside Area Community Meeting: 6:30 p.m. April 22, 2019; Northside Community Center, 1100 NW 18th St.

Collective Bargaining Negotiations with the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local Union 440: 9 a.m. April 23, 2019; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Special Called Meeting Work Session: 9 a.m. April 23, 2019; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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Civil Service Commission: 6 p.m. April 23, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Auditorium, 505 West Felix Street.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon April 24, 2019; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. April 24, 2019; City Plan Commission Public Hearing, 200 Texas Street, 2nd floor, Council Conference Room 290.
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