FAA, Choctaw Nation Unite under Drone Research

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma's Drone Flee

Choctaw Nation Photo

Advanced Technology Initiatives News

The FAA’s collaboration with the Native American tribe to study the use of drones for package delivery, weather-related research, and STEM outreach.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) is in the process of studying an exciting technology that will provide economic and social benefits to its people, and the FAA is there to help foster that research.

The FAA is partnering with CNO on the BEYOND drone program, created to work with state, local, and tribal governments to develop beyond visual line of sight operations for drones and opening doors to the many applications for which they can be used.

BEYOND will enable advances in drone operations, particularly in understanding how to safely incorporate routine beyond visual-line-of-sight flights into the National Airspace System (NAS).

The FAA will use data acquired by CNO and other lead participants to create operational standards around Part 135 operations — specifically, using drones to deliver small packages. That research should help the agency analyze and quantify the societal and economic benefits of drone operations.

Read the Full Article

FAA, Choctaw Nation Unite under Drone Research
By Jim Tise
Dec 16, 2021

About the UAS IPP Program

The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) is an opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to accelerate safe UAS integration. The program will help the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) craft new enabling rules that allow more complex low-altitude UAS operations by:

  • Identifying ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration
  • Improving communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions
  • Addressing security and privacy risks
  • Accelerating the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations

The program is expected to foster a meaningful dialogue on the balance between local and national interests related to UAS integration, and provide actionable information to the USDOT on expanded and universal integration of UAS into the National Airspace System.

About the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation's vision, "Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture," is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage, and traditions, please visit choctawnation.com.


Contact Kristina Humenesky for any media relations needs at [email protected]

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.