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The introduction of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has presented a wide range of new safety, economic, operational, regulatory, community, environmental, and infrastructure challenges to airports and the National Airspace System. These risks are further complicated by the dynamic and shifting nature of UAS technologies.

The Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Research Report 212: Airports and Unmanned Aircraft Systems provides guidance for airports on UAS in the areas of managing UAS operations in the vicinity of an airport and engaging stakeholders (Volume 1), incorporating UAS into airport infrastructure and planning (Volume 2), and potential use of UAS by airport operators (Volume 3).

Volume 3: Potential Use of UAS by Airport Operators provides airports with resources to appropriately integrate UAS missions as part of their standard operations. The use of UAS by airports can result in efficiency gains if implemented effectively. However, improper implementation will cause safety risks and damage effective airport operations.

Volume 1: Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports provides guidance for airport operators and managers to interact with UAS operations in the vicinity of airports.

Volume 2: Incorporating UAS into Airport Infrastructure—Planning Guidebook provides planning, operational, and infrastructure guidance to safely integrate existing and anticipated UAS operations into an airport environment.

Supplemental resources to ACRP Research Report 212 are provided in ACRP Web-Only Document 42: Toolkits and Resource Library for Airports and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airports and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Volume 3: Potential Use of UAS by Airport Operators. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

50 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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