Palo Alto Mulls Concepts for FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program

The City of Palo Alto, Calif., is exploring two proposed drone concepts for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program.

The city says it was approached by two prospective partners: Stanford Blood Center, in partnership with UAS manufacturer Matternet, and Multirotor, a German UAS manufacturer.

Under the partnership with Stanford Blood Center and Matternet, the city would explore the possiblity of using drones for the delivery of blood samples to Stanford Hospital.

Under the partnership with Mulirotor, Palo Alto would explore the use of UAS at the Palo Alto Airport for operations including inspecting runways or monitoring potential wildlife interference. Additional city uses would also be explored, such as for search and rescue or utility infrastructure inspections.

The city notes that any proposed drone operation raises numerous issues that would need to be identified and addressed, including safety, environmental, noise, privacy and community support. The FAA will be selecting five applications nationwide to proceed with project development, and if the city is selected to proceed with a formal agreement, staff would seek city council approval, conduct any necessary environmental review and solicit extensive community feedback.

More details on the proposals can be found here.

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