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FAA Awards $2.7M for Drone Research for Emergency, Disaster Response

FAA DroneEmergency400x275

August 18, 2022

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has awarded $2.7 million to support research on how drones can assist in disaster preparedness and in emergency situations.

The research aims to explore the use of drones in providing effective and efficient responses to different natural and human-made disasters, the FAA said. It will address coordination procedures among drone operators from federal agencies, as well as state and local disaster and emergency response organizations.

“Every second counts in an emergency, and this funding will allow drones to safely and more quickly deploy in moments when minutes matter,” said Billy Nolen, acting FAA administrator.

Five universities were granted funding for the research:

  • University of Vermont ($1.19M)
  • University of Alabama Huntsville ($828,700)
  • New Mexico State University ($400,000)
  • North Carolina State University ($145,000)

The announcement is the third round of Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) grants, which brings the total to 20 grants valued at $21 million for fiscal year 2022, the FAA said. 

More than 850,000 recreational and commercial drones are active in the active drone fleet, with numbers expected to grow, the agency added.


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