In 2014, after a rigorous 10-month selection process involving 25 proposals from 24 states, the Federal Aviation Administration selected six UAS/drone research and test sites across the country. One of those test sites is the Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership, or MAAP for short, and includes the States of Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. Research in the three states will include a variety of activities designed to facilitate the integration of UAS into the national airspace.
Rose Mooney, the Executive Director of MAAP, did her graduate work at Liberty University and is a former Director of UAS Airspace Integration at AAI/Textron. She was also the Vice President of Archangel Aero and the President of the Unmanned National Industry Team which represented the UAS in the US and Internationally. On this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Rose talks about the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and how their research is helping to integrate UAS into the national air space.
In This Episode:
- [02:00] Introduction to Rose Mooney, Executive Director of the MAAP Test Site
- [02:14] The MAAP Partnership. Rose talks about the MAAP Partnership and discusses the strengths and assets that played a role in its selection as one of 6 FAA UAS/drone test sites.
- [04:17] Structure and Funding. The partnership structure with the FAA is modeled off of previous FAA partnerships. The test site is self funded.
- [05:23] Geographical Location. The MAAP test site is comprised of numerous sites and facilities within the three states. New sites can be added if the current inventory cannot accommodate the desired drone applicationi.
- [06:55] Services. The MAAP provides a variety of commercial and research services that the public, commercial operators and research facilities can access. The best place to start is at their website (link below)
- [09:35] Notable Demonstration Projects. Rose discusses three demonstration projects conducted at the center – (1) how drones can be used in the news media industry, (2) delivery of medical supplies and (3) emergency operations and hazard mitigation support.
- [18:06] Role of Universities. Rose describes the relationship of the universities in the three states and some of the programs the schools of higher learning are working on.
- [19:16] Relationship to Other FAA UAS/drone Test Sites. The 6 FAA test sites are independent and in some ways compete for funding and resources. At the same time, there is some overlap and a high level of interaction and sharing to advance the goal of integrating UAS in the national airspace.
- [22:23] UAS In Europe. The commercialization of UAS/drones is farther ahead in Europe. As Rose discusses, some of the work of the MAAP test facility is to help facilitate and expedite the approval process in the U.S.
- [24:01] Insights. Rose has been involved in the drone industry for more than 10 years, actually starting in the robotics industry. She talks about her background and the challenges of running a FAA test site.
- [26:55] Surprises. As someone who has been involved in robotics and UAS for more than 10 years, the big surprise is things move slow and that she’s looking forward to the time when autonomous systems are more prevalent.
- [29:36] Ideas. If you have an idea for a drone application or demonstration project, contact the MAAP test site, via the webpage.
- [31:15] Closing
- Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (www.maap.ictas.vt.edu)