RENO, Nevada - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is continuing to test a new air traffic control system being developed to help manage flights of unmanned aircraft systems in the U.S. and beyond. The goal of the new system is to develop a system that can be integrated into the current air traffic control system used by manned aviation.
The second round of tests focused on tracking drone flights in real-time, mapping flight paths, and alerting the UAS's to avoid airspace where it should enter such as where a public event or rescue operations are being conducted.
NASA claims the most recent round of tests set new milestones in the research such as the first demonstration of drones flying beyond line-of-sight and being tracked by the new system, and well as a demonstration using air traffic control to prioritize airspace between manned and unmanned flights. The third test of the system is scheduled for January 2018 and will test the the UAS air traffic control system over manned areas. The final NASA research test is scheduled for 2019. A recommendation will then be made to Congress for a national solution.