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U.S. Virginia launches drone information exchange service

The Virginia Department of Transportation is a key stakeholder in a new project to share information about unmanned aerial systems (UAS), by addressing critical safety and policy concerns while keeping the airspace open, secure, and integrated within Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) control, reports aerospacetestinginternational.com.

UAS are an increasingly vital tool for transportation departments, where drones, for example, are deployed for asset surveys as well as investigating their possible use for wider traffic management. However, safety concerns can hold back employing the technology which is where the new Virginia Flight Information Exchange (VFIE) helps.

The VFIE is a platform for state and local government agencies to publish and share advisory information with each other, covering UAS Service Suppliers (USS), unmanned system operators and the public, to promote transparency and public safety. The pilot program will evaluate the benefits of information sharing, inspire thoughtful regulation, and demonstrate a state-supported approach to UAS communications and coordination.

Shannon Valentine, Virginia Secretary of Transportation, commented,  “Innovation plays a critical role in the continuous evolution of Virginia’s multimodal transportation network and the development of the Virginia Flight Information Exchange demonstrates Virginia’s commitment to collaborative solutions and the future of the emerging UAS industry sector.”

The VFIE will be the first state-sponsored authoritative Supplemental Data Service Provider (SDSP) to exist in the FAA’s Unmanned Traffic Management system.

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