DOT Launches Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program

November 06, 2017

The private sector is invited to partner with state, local, and tribal governments on the program, which promotes drone innovation and integration.

On November 2, 2017, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) launched the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program in accordance with the presidential memorandum directing the DOT to establish a pilot program to test the further integration of UAS into the national airspace system (NAS). The program’s objectives, guidelines, and application process are described on the UAS integration portal of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website. The program creates a framework to promote innovation of UAS technology and inform future regulations. Within 180 days, the FAA will select for implementation at least five proposals to fly more advanced UAS operations. No funding will be awarded as a part of the program.

Lead Applicants (state, local, and tribal governments) are invited to submit proposals in accordance with a Screening Information Request (SIR). Public and private sector entities (UAS operators, UAS manufacturers, and other UAS stakeholders) seeking to partner on proposals may submit contact details to be included on a publicly available list of Interested Parties. Lead Applicants may also apply to be on the Interested Parties List. The Interested Parties List is intended to facilitate dialogue, collaboration, and the formation of teams to submit proposals.

The Interested Parties List is scheduled to be published on November 13, 2017 as an FAA Contract Opportunities Announcement and then updated regularly. Additions to the Interested Parties List will be accepted through December 13, 2017. However, once an entity asks to be included on the Interested Parties List it may not be removed. The FAA requires Interested Parties to adhere to the following format when making requests:

Send an email to:
Email Subject Line: "Interested Party List Request"
Format of Email Body:

Point of Contact First Name:
Point of Contact Last Name:
Email Address:
Point of Contact Phone Number:
Entity Type (Private Sector Entity; State, Local, or Tribal Jurisdiction; UAS Operator; or Other Stakeholder):
Entity Name:
Website URL (if applicable):

The Interested Parties List is expected to follow the format of the request, making email addresses and telephone numbers publicly available for any purpose. However, it is possible to be a Team Member (an entity or individual with whom the Lead Applicant intends to partner in the proposal) without being publicly listed on the Interested Parties List.


Morgan Lewis will continue to monitor developments in this emerging area of the economy and advise clients regarding the opportunities and challenges facing those involved in UAS initiatives. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the UAS Integration Pilot Program, please contact Lisa Valentovish.