The FAA's Focus Area Pathfinder initiative involves three industry partners who are exploring incremental expansion of UAS operations in the NAS.
The three focus areas are:
- Visual line-of-sight operations over people
CNN explores how UAS might be safely used for newsgathering in populated areas
- Extended visual line-of-sight operations in rural areas
PrecisionHawk will explore how UAS flights outside the pilot's direct vision might allow greater UAS use for crop monitoring in precision agriculture operations.
- Beyond visual line-of-sight operations in rural/isolated areas
BNSF Railway will explore command-and-control challenges of using UAS to inspect rail system infrastructure.
If your company or organization is interested in pursuing similar UAS research in one of the above Focus Areas, there are a number of options available: