Integration Pilot Program


Botlink, along with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) conducted the first public mission of North Dakota’s Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Pilot Program. Working in partnership with the NDDOT, NPUASTS, CNN, and ParaZero. Botlink demonstrated the first-of-its kind sustained drone operations over people in controlled airspace on September 29th at the NDSU/SDSU football pregame tailgating event.

“Botlink’s mission from day one has been to develop tools and processes that allow drones to be safely operated in any environment. Authorization to operate drones over people is a major limiting factor for drone use by media and law enforcement organizations. We’re excited to be working with the FAA and our partners in developing technology, procedures and regulations to allow those organizations to benefit from drone operations.”
— Terri Zimmerman, CEO Botlink

The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) is an opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities to accelerate safe integration with unmanned aircraft systems. The program will help the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) create new rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations.

  • Identify ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration

  • Improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions

  • Addressing security and privacy risks

  • Accelerating the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations

The FAA will evaluate multiple operational concepts, including night operations, flights over people and beyond the pilot's line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies and the reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft. Fields that could see immediate opportunities from the program include commerce, photography, emergency management, agricultural support and infrastructure inspections.

For Immediate Release

Fargo, ND (September 29th, 2018) -- Today, Botlink receives the first waiver for sustained operations over people from the FAA. Also, Botlink and Cable News Network (CNN) are the first two companies to operate simultaneously in shared airspace performing commercial operations over people… View Full Press Release