The National Academies

ACRP 03-42 [Active]

Airports and UAS

  Project Data
Funds: $1,000,000
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz
Research Agency: Booz Allen Hamilton
Principal Investigator: Chrishanth Fernando
Effective Date: 2/3/2017
Completion Date: 12/2/2018

UAS activity continues to grow for recreational and non-recreational uses. Recreational uses are most often by hobbyists for photography, racing, and sport. Non-recreational uses include law enforcement, emergency response, media coverage, delivery services, surveying, and utility inspection. Many airport operators see the potential benefits of using UAS for inspections, wildlife hazard management, security management, and emergency response to increase efficiency and reduce cost. But the rapid increase in UAS activity, coupled with the many stakeholders employing the technology, and the evolving regulatory landscape have also resulted in airports facing new challenges as they strive to provide users, tenants, and customers with a safe, secure, predictable operating environment. Airports need guidance, tools, and other resources to effectively address UAS issues and integrate UAS into their day-to-day operations and planning.

There is a need to build on recent ACRP research, including ACRP Report 144: UAS and Airports–A Primer and ACRP Legal Research Digest 32, "Evolving Law on Airport Implications by Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations" to provide additional guidance and information related to UAS at airports.
This research has resulted in several projects:
Topic A: Managing Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Vicinity of Airports
Topic B: Engaging Stakeholders in UAS
Topic C: Incorporating UAS into Airport Infrastructure and Planning
Topic D: Potential Use of UAS by Airport Operators
Topic E: Update to ACRP Research Report 144: Unmanned Aircraft Systems: A Primer 
Booz Allen Hamilton has been selected to conduct the research. 

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