A demonstration of the Virginia Flight Information Exchange (VA-FIX), which provides data from state and local governments for safe unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations, presented by ATA, LLC will be featured during the 90th Annual Convention and Trade Show of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, taking place Sept 12 to 15.
VA-FIX is a shared governance model of an Authoritative Supplemental Data Service Provider (ASDSP) for state and local governments to issue clearer and higher-quality source information to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry to help clarify the integration of local operations. The system, launched in August 2020, was developed through a public-private collaboration between the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV), the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and ATA, LLC, a leading data science and engineering company in Northern Virginia that develops data infrastructure for the UAS industry. Today, 92 users representing 34 agencies across the Commonwealth, totaling 41 entities, are using VA-FIX data in their operations.
UAS Traffic Management System (UTM) developers and UAS Service Suppliers (USS) are also using data from VA-FIX to provide information about ground rules and conditions, local issues and events, public safety incidents, and sensitive and critical infrastructure that may affect drone operations. This approach helps Virginia address key policy and safety concerns at the state and local level while maintaining a UAS airspace that is one of the freest and most open in the nation. Seven Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Low Altitude Authorization Notification Capability (LAANC) onboarded USSes are now integrating VA-FIX data into their applications. In addition to ATA, the LAANC providers are Skyward, DroneUp, Airspace Link, Skygrid, Aloft and WING.
“State and local governments have a wealth of information critical to UTM providers and UAS operators, and they are the logical authoritative source for governance and provision of these resources,” said Craig Parisot, CEO of ATA, LLC. “VA-FIX creates a clearinghouse to coordinate and standardize this information to avoid a patchwork of advisories and regulation.”
Last month, North Carolina became the first state to sign an agreement with DOAV to collaborate, coordinate and disseminate information as a VA-FIX user. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division of Aviation plans to create and develop a Flight Information Exchange for the state.