FAA Opens First Drone Test Site

May 19, 2014 - 2 minutes read

faa drone rules

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has opened the first of six planned testing facilities for unmanned aircraft. The first test site is located in North Dakota, and became operational a full two months ahead of the previously announced schedule.

Officially, the North Dakota site will be used to allow drones to conduct soil research throughout the state, and to carry out drone maintenance and repair studies. In particular, the maintenance and repair studies are expected to eventually lead to the creation and implementation of standardized safety and performance regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).

The FAA has stated that the domestic test sites will be used to “analyze current processes for establishing small UAS airworthiness and system maturity.” Many onlookers note that this will eventually lead to the use of drones by private enterprises. Currently, unmanned aircraft systems are almost exclusively used by the military, though they do have great private sector potential, particularly in the field of surveillance.

So what does this mean for mobile app developers? First, it signals that unmanned aircraft systems may well soon be used for commercial purposes. While surveillance is the most obvious application, there are many others, and practically all of them stand to benefit from the kind of support that specialized software applications would offer.

By looking to the future of drone technology, Houston iPhone application developers and mobile software professionals around the country can identify countless opportunities. With the global smartphone market nearing saturation and technological capabilities approaching a plateau, forward-looking app developers could be the big beneficiaries as new markets for their products and technologies continue to appear.

Potential future applications for UAS technology include scientific research, remote sensing, oil and gas exploration, search and rescue, maritime and coastal patrolling, archeology, filmmaking, Internet and television coverage of sports events, policing, and pilot training.

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