Bell is joining the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s (CNO) FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP) and will begin testing Bell systems on CNO-owned property in rural southeastern Oklahoma. UASIPP data is a precursor to expanding permitted UAS operations including beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), agricultural applications, public safety, infrastructure inspection, and flight over people. CNO is one of nine UASIPP sites nationwide.
"We are proud and excited to be a part of the CNO UASIPP team," said Scott Drennan, Bell vice president of innovation. "This agreement will enable us to continue to test our vehicles and work in a collaborative effort with CNO and the FAA to improve aviation technologies and achieve new possibilities together."
The UASIPP allows approved state, local, and tribal governments to partner with UAS operators or manufacturers to accelerate safe UAS integration into the national airspace. Data from the program will be used by federal authorities to craft rules governing complex low-altitude operations. The program is charged with identifying ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration; improving communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions; and accelerating the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.