UAS Test Site Locations

The seven FAA UAS Test Sites across the country:


Griffiss International Airport - NUAIR: Making Future Skies Safer

Griffiss International Airport, NY

DESCRIPTION: The Griffiss International Airport Test Site is operated by the Griffiss International Airport Commissioner and managed by the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR). NUAIR is a New York based nonprofit organization that provides expertise in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations, aeronautical research, safety management, and consulting services.

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UAS Public Safety Training at the Griffiss International Airport, NY

UAS TEST SITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Griffiss International is a Part 139-certified airport with Class D airspace. The effective Griffiss International Airport-NUAIR public/private team builds on collaboration between New York State, Oneida County, and the Central New York and Mohawk Valley regions, and includes experienced and dedicated aviation and safety professionals.
  • New York has focused on test range infrastructure development, data collection and analysis as the foundation for an integrated test environment with full NASA Live Virtual Constructive – Distributed Environment (LVC-DE) capability.
  • Starting in 2014, the New York team committed to invest in a high-precision ground-based air traffic surveillance capability (for airspace situational awareness), built on the proven FAA ASDE-X system, recognizing this to be critical for performance standards development future routine IFR-capable UAS operations.
  • The New York team is committed to support NASA and FAA UAS Traffic Management (UTM) development. The team supports ASTM Committee F38 and RTCA Special Committee 228. NUAIR works with the SC-228 subgroup responsible for Ground-Based Radar (GBR) minimum operational performance standards (MOPS). Integration of standards compliant GBR air traffic surveillance into UAS control stations will be an important enabler for routine UAS operations in terminal and en route corridor airspace.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Mr. Edward A. Arcuri
Airport Commissioner, Griffiss International Airport (RME)
earcuri@ocgov.net
(315) 736-4171
660 Hangar Rd, Suite 223
Rome, NY 13441
Oneida County, New York
Website: https://www.ocgov.net/airport 

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NM State University

New Mexico State University, NM

DESCRIPTION: The New Mexico State University, located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, specializes in unmanned systems flight-testing and provides the capability to test several classes of UAS in a common area. The NMSU UASTS operates under a Certificate of Authorization (COA) that permits UAS flights in over 15,000 square miles of coordinated airspace in southwestern New Mexico. The airspace, which extends from the surface to 18,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), features a very low volume of aviation traffic and overlays mostly undeveloped government-owned land.

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Large UA Airworthiness Assessment Tests at NMSU

UAS TEST SITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The NMSU UAS Test Site operates its own UAS fleet, ranging from small battery-powered units to complex medium-altitude systems, and has a trained staff of aircrew, engineers, and technicians available to supplement customer teams. And, it works with the community on rules for UAS operations on campus property.
  • Facilities include a 15,000 square foot hangar at the Las Cruces International Airport dedicated to UAS operations, as well as office facilities and technical support are available on the campus of NMSU.
  • It operates a fully enclosed UAS propulsion test facility with digital data acquisition systems, dynamometer capacity to 100 horsepower, and the capability to control temperature and relative humidity inside the test chamber.
  • NMSU UAS Test Site is continuing to work with the New Mexico based Water Resources Research Institute with test flights of the Multi-spectral camera system in the CTLS Light Sport Manned Aircraft for mapping the Lower Rio Grande Valley to determine soil moisture in the growing regions.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Mr. Henry M. Cathey, Jr.
Test Site Director
hcathey@psl.nmsu.edu
(575) 646-9474
1050 Stewart St.
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Website: https://uastestsite.psl.nmsu.edu/

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North Dakota Department of Commerce - Northern Plains UAS Test Site

North Dakota Department of Commerce, ND

DESCRIPTION: The North Dakota Department of Commerce's UAS Test Site is managed and operated by the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS). The mission of the NPUASTS is to collaborate with FAA and industry partners to develop equipment, systems, rules, and procedures to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the NAS without negatively impacting existing general or commercial aviation. Major partners of the NPUASTS include General Atomics and the University of North Dakota (UND).

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UAS Power Line Inspection Operations Tests at NPUASTS

UAS TEST SITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The NPUASTS leads the North Dakota UAS Detection and Counter UAS Task Force that is directed to develop a testing and evaluation area within North Dakota, identify emerging and potential threats posed by UAS in both military and civilian environments, and enable UAS operators to develop and deploy protective technologies in response to identified threats.
  • The NPUASTS is actively involved in North Dakota's UAS Integration Pilot Program that is led by the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
  • The NPUASTS is supporting the State of North Dakota's $28 million investment to deploy a statewide network to enable beyond visual line of sight flights.
  • The NPUASTS support government UAS research through participation with NASA, FAA, and Customs & Border Protection (CBP) through a variety of research and test programs. The NPUASTS is a partner in the FAA ASSURE COE testing enabling technologies for complex UAS operations.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Trevor Woods
Executive Director
tjwoods@nd.gov
(701) 777-2824
1600 East Century Ave Suite 2
Bismark, ND, 58503
Website: https://www.business.nd.gov/aviation/NorthernPlainsUASTestSite/

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State of Nevada, NV

DESCRIPTION: The State of Nevada's UAS Test Site designation is managed and operated by the University of Nevada, Reno through its Nevada Autonomous test site program. Nevada Autonomous provides operational support for UAS Test Site activities including airworthiness, personnel certification, operations management, location assessment, Certificate of Authorization development, and safety management. Nevada Autonomous further assists with development of collaborations between industry and research institutions.

A complex test and demonstration completed in downtown Reno, Nev.;

UAS TEST SITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Nevada Autonomous advances FAA policy and procedures for the Nevada and national UAS industry in technology advancements for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) technologies in urban/non-urban environments, Remote Identification, drone detection, collision avoidance and the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system.
  • Nevada Autonomous collaborates with business and industry, government agencies and research institutions, notably the University of Nevada, Reno, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Desert Research Institute, all part of the Nevada System of Higher Education and all conducting aspects of aeronautical, autonomous vehicle and robotics research.
  • University of Nevada, Reno researchers affiliated with Nevada Autonomous established testing safety procedures that have been validated through field trials since 2015.
  • Nevada Autonomous is organized through the University’s Nevada Center for Applied Research, an innovative service that is stimulating economic development and entrepreneurialism by opening access for business and industry to the institution’s leading-edge labs, equipment, expertise and services.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Carlos Cardillo
Executive Director, Corporate Partnerships
ncar@unr.edu
(775) 784-4837
University of Nevada, Reno 
Nevada Center for Applied Research / Nevada Autonomous 
1664 N. Virginia Street / Mail Stop 0525
Reno, NV 89557
Website: https://www.unr.edu/ncar/programs/nevada-autonomous

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Texas A&M University Corpus Christi - Lone Star UAS

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, TX

DESCRIPTION: The Texas A&M University Corpus Christi's UAS Test Site is managed and operated by the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation (LSUASC). LSUASC is a Texas-wide partnership for research, development, testing and evaluation of UAS technologies led Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, Texas Engineering Experiment Station, and Huntington Ingalls Industries. Its mission is to operate for the benefit of advancement and use of unmanned technologies, specifically UAS technologies across state agency interests; to provide an economic stimulus to attract industry to Texas, while being compliant to the Texas Privacy Act; and to provide the FAA with UAS research, development and operational data to assist in the development of procedures, standards, and regulations to facilitate UAS civil operations into the National Airspace System.

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LSUASC's RS-16 aircraft flies over Texas beaches

UAS TEST SITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The LSUASC has conducted over 3,500 UAS research flights.
  • The LSUASC is working with several energy sector partners supporting the credentialing of operators for UAS use by the oil and gas suppliers.
  • The LSUASC continues to expand its research and development into autonomous systems operations including collision avoidance and use of on-board sensor systems.
  • The LSUASC under Texas Task Force Air Wing1 has completed UAS and support equipment acquisitions in support of the Air Wing1 missions.
  • The execution of NASA's Task Order 7, TCL4 for Urban Air Mobility UTM testing in Corpus Christi, Texas provided a unique opportunity to engage the public and local agencies in the research functions of the LSUASC, its associated university, and its academic and commercial partners. This test event, conducted over three weeks in July and August, resulted in: 216 live flights, 32.5 live flight hours, 539 live and 1,179 simulated operations.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Michael J. Sanders
Executive Director, Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation
Michael.Sanders@tamucc.edu
(361) 825-4103
Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation
10201 South Padre Island Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78418
Website: https://lsuasc.tamucc.edu/

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UAF University of Alaska Fairbanks - ACUASI

University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK

DESCRIPTION: The University of Alaska Board of Regents established the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) to lead all unmanned aircraft programs for the entire University of Alaska system. The ACUASI oversees the Pan Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC) test range facilities in Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii, Kansas and Mississippi, and one international test facility in Iceland. The ACUASI supports research and test activities related to public operations, civil/commercial operations, mixed manned and unmanned operations, high altitude long endurance (HALE), and high-altitude balloon operations.

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Extreme Climatic UAS Tests and Operations in Alaska

UAS TEST SITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The ACUASI conducts research, development, test, and evaluation flights outside of fixed ranges and under a variety of environmental conditions.
  • The ACUASI has extensive experience operating in the Arctic, including under extreme climactic conditions.
  • The ACUASI maintains their own fleet of Griffon Aerospace SeaHunter UAVs (280 pounds maximum takeoff weight or MTOW), DRS Sentry HP UAS (325 pounds MTOW), and smaller systems for payload and concepts of operation testing.
  • The ACUASI partners include: the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hilo; Oregon State University; Kansas State University; Mississippi State University; Ft. Wainwright and Ft. Greely; Alaska Aerospace; Seven Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; Drone Service Hawaii; Insitu; Latitude Engineering; Iris Automation; Echodyne; Trumbull Unmanned; Vigilant Aerospace Systems; Unmanned Systems Alaska; and others.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Dr. Catherine F. Cahill
Director, Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI), CEO, Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex
cfcahill@alaska.edu
(907) 455-2016
2158 Koyukuk Drive
PO Box 757320
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Website: https://acuasi.alaska.edu/

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech, VA

DESCRIPTION: The Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) manages the Virginia Tech UAS Test Site. MAAP's expertise in UAS research, operations, risk management, and testing – joined with the talents of world-class faculty and students at a top-50 research university – allows them to tackle the most daunting challenges facing UAS integration. MAAP leads Virginia's BEYOND team and other major federal UAS-integration efforts, and their work has consistently led to landmark permissions and operations that have advanced the industry.With a focus on evidence-based solutions to critical technical hurdles, MAAP provides support with safety case development, research and development, and test and evaluation; their facilities and resources to enable testing in diverse environments tailored to their partners' goals.

With a focus on evidence-based solutions to critical technical hurdles, MAAP provides support with safety case development, research and development, and test and evaluation; their facilities and resources to enable testing in diverse environments tailored to their partners' goals.

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Package Delivery Tests & Evaluations at Virginia Tech

UAS TEST SITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • MAAP's research has led directly to innovative approvals and operations for industry partners, including the first nationwide beyond visual line of sight/operations over people waiver, supporting the first Part 135 certification for a drone company, and the first commercial drone-delivery service in the U.S. Their unique expertise in injury risk assessment led to a request for Virginia Tech to collaborate on ASSURE's ground collision severity research.
  • MAAP has pioneered and validated a rigorous safety-case process that has quickly become a benchmark in the industry. Their method for systematically evaluating operational objectives against potential risks and mitigations has supported robust waiver applications and ultimately enabled new real-world use cases.
  • MAAP directs the operations of Virginia's team in the BEYOND program. The expertise and relationships developed through MAAP's Test Site work have fueled this team's remarkable success (and its accomplishments under the predecessor UAS IPP program), multiplying the positive impact of the Test Site Program on UAS integration in the NAS.
  • MAAP participates in numerous federal research programs, including multiple years supporting NASA UTM Technical Capability Levels (TCLs), both phases of the FAA UTM Pilot Program (UPP), extensive work on both ground and airborne Detect and Avoid (DAA), and multiple ongoing ASSURE projects.
  • MAAP's research, test, and evaluation activities have yielded substantive insights and data that MAAP actively shares with industry groups and standards bodies, including ASTM, RTCA, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), and the UAS Safety Team (UAST), helping to shape industry best practices and inform future policymaking.

POINT OF CONTACT:

Tombo Jones
Director
tomboj@vt.edu
(540) 231-8890
1991 Kraft Drive, Suite 2019
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Website: https://maap.ictas.vt.edu/

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Last updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2022