Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Applauds Memphis Airport Authority’s Selection for Aerial Drone Pilot Program

May 9, 2018
Press Release
Memphis will be a test site for expediting the safe integration of drones into the nation’s airspace

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a member of the House Transportation Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee, joined Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao today in announcing the selection of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority’s application to operate as a test site for integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the nation’s airspace.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP) will demonstrate new and expanded commercial drone systems and expedite their safe use.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority was one of 150 applicants for the pilot project which it sought in partnership with the City of Memphis and its police and fire departments, Agricenter International, the University of Memphis, the Tennessee Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics, FedEx, GE subsidiaries AirXOS and Avitas, Intel, Flirtey, 901Drones, Express Drone Parts and ForeverReady Productions.

“This is a major development for Memphis and puts us on the map as a major player in the nascent drone industry,” said Congressman Cohen. “In the months ahead, Memphis will increase its stature as a center for this cutting-edge technology and will advance the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. The economic impact of this announcement cannot be overstated, and I congratulate the airport authority and its partners for this major achievement.”

Secretary Chao made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters.

“Data gathered from these pilot projects will form the basis of a new regulatory framework to safely integrate drones into our national airspace,” said Secretary Chao. “The enthusiastic response to our request for applications demonstrated the many innovative technological and operational solutions already on the horizon.”