ATA LLC and the Virginian Department of Aviation (DOAV) have demonstrated an online platform that provides data from state and local governments to enable open, safe and responsible operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Launched last summer, the Virginia Flight Information Exchange (VA-FIX) allows state and local government agencies to publish and share advisory information with each other, UAS Service Suppliers (USS), UAS operators, and the public to promote transparency and public safety.
The platform was developed through a public-private collaboration with the Virginia DOAV, the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and ATA.
VA-FIX is Virginia’s step toward the future of a UAS Traffic Management System (UTM) by creating an authoritative Supplemental Data Service Provider (SDSP), a public data service platform for drone applications.
VA-FIX leverages the wealth of state and local government information, such as ground rules and conditions, local issues and events, public safety incidents, and sensitive and critical infrastructure, for remote pilots to avoid or consider before and during their operations.
This approach helps Virginia address key policy and safety concerns at the state and local level while maintaining a free and open UAS airspace. A shared governance model for state and local SDSP authoritative source information also supports and enhances the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UTM concept and provides clearer, higher-quality information to the UAS industry.
“We are helping states and localities gain a necessary technical capability while setting an important example for how they can support the growth of UAS and commercial UTM solutions in a manner that best serves the public interest,” said Craig Parisot, Chief Executive Officer of ATA, LLC.
A workshop held at XPONENTIAL in Atlanta featured a demonstration of VA-FIX and user group-style discussion of use cases and real-world scenarios. Participants learnt how to implement the Virginia data governance model, which has successfully balanced stakeholder equities to drive toward an increasingly open framework.