WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Mississippi State University has been chosen to be the partner of the US government in conducting research, education and training to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced in a statement.
“This world-class, public-private partnership will help us focus on the challenges and opportunities of this cutting-edge technology,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Friday. “We expect this team will help us to educate and train a cadre of unmanned aircraft professionals well into the future.”
The FAA designated the University as a Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
Additionally, the Center of Excellence will likely be able to conduct research by September 2015 and become fully “operational and engaged in a robust research agenda by January 2016.”
Congress appropriated $5 million for the five-year agreement with the Center of Excellence, according to the FAA.
In February 2015, the FAA unveiled proposed regulations for commercial drone guidelines that would limit drones to fly only in daylight and within the operator’s visual line of sight, as well as to follow new height and operational restrictions.
Unregulated commercial and private drone flights have resulted in a number of close calls near airports and other facilities, raising safety and security concerns about their unregulated use. Privacy and civil liberties groups have also expressed concerns that drones could be used to infringe on US citizens’ rights.