Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Continues Partnership with Federal Aviation Administration to Launch Second Phase of Unmanned Aircraft Integration Pilot-Beyond

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) announced today its selection for participation in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) BEYOND program, as part of a follow-on effort to the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

In the new program, CNO will continue its partnership with the FAA to safely test and
validate advanced operations for drones in partnership with tribal, state and local
governments in select jurisdictions. BEYOND will address specific challenges remaining
at the closure of the UASIPP.  The UAS BEYOND program will focus on:

 The steps necessary to facilitate scalable, repeatable and economically feasible
Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations;
 Collection, measurement and response efforts for community feedback related to
UAS operations; and,
 The quantification and measurement of the societal and economic impact of various
UAS operations.

“The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is very happy with our continued collaboration with
the FAA and our partners,” states Chief Gary Batton. “We believe this reflects very well
on our continued leadership in emerging technologies and our efforts to identify and
grow economic opportunities for our region. We realize that this technology has the
potential to change our daily lives in many positive ways.”

Over the past three years Choctaw Nation accomplished several milestones in the
UASIPP and CNO is looking forward to many more accomplishments in the future in
preparation of the next phase of the FAA’s BEYOND program.

 The only tribal government designated as a lead participant in the UASIPP.
 The first tribal government recognized by the FAA as a Public Aircraft Operator
 The only lead participant to work with the Volpe Center on testing acoustics for

The CNO UAS IPP team consisted of a mixture of industry, non-profit and academic
partners such as the Noble Research Institute, Bell Flight, Oklahoma State University,
University of Oklahoma, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and AiRXOS (part
of GE Aviation),

The CNO team will continue to collaborate with Oklahoma State University to conduct
UAS weather research focused on improving the understanding of weather and winds at
low altitude. The aim is to improve safety for Unmanned Aircraft systems (UAS) flying in
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations. The challenge the team is addressing will have
an impact across a wide range of aircraft, not only helping advance the integration of
drones and urban air taxis into the national airspace, but also increasing the safety of air
transportation and airport operations for all aircraft from airliners and general aviation

“We look forward to participating in the FAA BEYOND

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