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UAS Super Corridor Launched in Red River Valley
North Dakota Ag Connection - 04/24/2019

Senator John Hoeven Tuesday joined Grand Sky and the Harris Corporation in announcing a new Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Super Corridor in the Red River Valley. The corridor will enable unmanned aircraft, both large and small, to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of their operators and without a chase plane throughout approximately 100 miles of the valley. It comes as the result of key technologies and authorizations that Hoeven has worked to secure in recent years.

The announcement comes as part of two roundtables Hoeven hosted today with top officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the University of North Dakota (UND) and Grand Sky. The senator brought the officials to Grand Forks to highlight the region's unique UAS ecosystem as well as the progress being made under the FAA's partnerships with the state, including its Integration Pilot Program (IPP) and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) pilot program. Hoeven is leveraging today's visit to build on these efforts and advance statewide coverage for BVLOS operations for unmanned aircraft. The officials Hoeven hosted include:

- Jay Merkle, the head of the FAA UAS Integration Office.

- Angela Stubblefield, the FAA Deputy Associate Administrator who is responsible for UAS security and counter-UAS policy.

- Tim Arel, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of FAA's Air Traffic Organization.

"The UAS Super Corridor creates an airspace for UAS in our state that is unmatched across the globe in terms of size and complexity," said Hoeven. "We've worked hard to bring together all of the pieces that were needed for this level of UAS operations. Further, having the head of the FAA Integration Office here, among others, really helps drive home the amount of progress we've achieved in our partnerships with the federal government. Tuesday's roundtables were an opportunity to strengthen those collaborations, ensuring that the FAA is responsive to our industry partners and the test site as well as bolstering ongoing efforts to provide statewide coverage for UAS operations."

The UAS Super Corridor, which will operate under the test site's BVLOS authorization, marries the DASR-11 radar system and HubNet with data feeds from other sensors on unmanned aircraft to provide a combined aircraft control and airspace surveillance system. As a result, UAS operators under the corridor will have access to aviation-grade displays that enable them to monitor the surrounding airspace while also piloting their aircraft.

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