FAA Eyes Drone Role in Disaster
September 23, 2020
The Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) is awarding $3.3 million in research, education and
training grants to universities that comprise FAAs Air Transportation Center of
Excellence (COE) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as the Alliance
for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE).
These grants will help develop a greater array of innovative strategies to more
effectively deploy drones during emergency response situations, said U.S.
Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The FAAs COE program, authorized by Congress, is a long-term, cost-sharing
partnership between academia, industry, and government. The program enables the
FAA to work with center members and affiliates to conduct research in airspace
and airport planning and design, environment and aviation safety. The COE also
allows the FAA to engage other transportation-related activities.
There are currently 1.65 million recreational and commercial drones (PDF) in the
active UAS fleet. That number is expected to grow to as high as 2.31 million by
2024 (PDF). The ASSURE grants are aimed at continuing the safe and successful
integration of drones into the nations airspace.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said, Collaboration is hugely important as we
work to safely integrate UAS into the aerospace system. These important grants
fund the research which allows us to learn and implement the safety measures
associated with UAS operations in the airspace.
Alliance for System Safety of UAS
through ASSURE Program Management
This grant is for the ASSURE lead university to provide overall
program management. This program management will include
tracking of financial information for all core university
project activities; reviewing and vetting of all project related
documentation prior to submission to the FAA; hosting and
facilitating all FAA-required meetings; and outreach to
government, industry, and academia.
- Mississippi State
University (MS)lead university
Disaster Preparedness and
Response (Phase I of II, as directed by Congress)
This research will provide insight into the safe integration of
UAS into the disaster preparedness and response areas. This
research will look at how UAS can aid in disaster preparedness
and response to different natural and human-made disasters. It
will focus on procedures to coordinate with the Department of
Interior, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, and other federal, local and state
organizations to ensure proper coordination during those
of AlabamaHuntsville (AL)lead university
- New Mexico State
- University of Alaska,
- Mississippi State
- North Carolina State
- Oregon State University
received a total of $3.3 million to advance specific goals and
projects. This is the second round of ASSURE grants. The grants
announced today bring the Fiscal Year 2020 total for this COE to