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It is said to also involve companies that intend to test drones for delivering packages, environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, pipeline oversight, and for various uses at airports.

The contest drew 149 bids from locales looking to host flights at night, flights over people and other drone operations that USA rules prohibit.

There are a bevy of independent drone companies involved in the pilot, including Fortem, AirMap, Zipline and Matternet. Drones carrying defibrillators to heart attack victims have the potential to save many lives, Flirtey founder and CEO Matthew Sweeny said.

The Department of Transportation left Amazon out of a list of companies that will be conducting a test to push for package delivery using drones.

According to Reuters, the head of the FAA's unmanned aircraft systems integration office told a Senate panel this week that numerous projects that were not awardees "could go forward under the FAA's existing rules, including with waivers where appropriate", with the agency reaching out to those local authorities "to provide additional information on how to operationalize their proposed projects".

Uber is working with San Diego, which wants to create drone landing stations and ports, according to a fact sheet released by DOT.

The US drone program has been created to assess how drones can be regulated and worked into US airspace without borking normal aviation; Amazon offered to help but didn't get the nod, which is kind of ironic given it probably flogs more drones than any other tech firm out there.

The current legislation lags behind the technology in many countries, including the USA and the United Kingdom, with most novel uses ruled out by regulations that prohibit the flying of drones over people and out of the line of sight.

Alphabet's Project Wing will deliver packages in Virginia. "I think so. It will work, and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun".

Southwest airlines plane makes emergency landing at DFW Airport
A Southwest Airlines plane struck a pickup truck at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Maryland. A passenger who was present on the plane at the time told ABC7 that no one injured due to the accident.

Apple plans to launch the use of drones to get a better quality of Apple Maps in 2016.

Chao said dozens more projects could be approved in coming months, either with new waivers or under existing rules.

There isn't any drone delivery in the USA yet, but Alphabet has been testing delivering packages to people's backyards in Australia.

While DOT approvals were limited to 10 new test programs, the government plans to dramatically expand similar demonstrations, Earl Lawrence, the director of the agency's drone integration office, told senators at a hearing May 8.

"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 robotic and aerial innovations to the next level", said Mayor Kevin Faulconer at a press conference on Thursday.

Brockman said the airport authority has been working on the application since a year ago. UAS will operate at night and (beyond visual line of sight). It will use drones to deliver small aircraft parts on a defined path in the north ramp area at the hub.

Numerous programs include plans to fly on longer-range operations outside of the view of a drone's ground operator.

FAA also has sent two proposed regulations for expanding drone flight to the White House for review, Chao said.

With assistance from Thomas Black.