San Diego chosen to take part in federal drone testing program

Posted at 7:47 AM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 15:09:39-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego is among 10 areas around the U.S. that will take part in a federal program that is testing drone technology and innovation.

The city of San Diego is partnering with the city of Chula Vista, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and other local groups in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program.”

"From drones to human genomes, San Diego is renowned for its innovative spirit and talent that can't be matched anywhere else. This designation brings together some of our brightest minds in local government and private industry to develop cutting-edge technologies that are going to take drone innovations to the next level,” San Diego Mayor Faulconer said ahead of Thursday’s official announcement.

Drones weighing up to 55 pounds, along with several more pounds of payload, will be tested. While specific details on the program were not immediately revealed, it is possible that the testing will look into drone usage in medical transport, food delivery, and even border surveillance.

Testing may include package dropoffs and run during nighttime hours as well.

Alongside the FAA, testing completed in San Diego and the other cities will help to create a new regulatory framework for the use of drones.