LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today that Michigan and Ontario are collaborating on a first-of-its kind technology initiative involving unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones. This effort involves studying the feasibility of a commercial drone skyway in three proposed areas, including an international connection between Michigan and Ontario, southeast Michigan, and any other suitable location in the state.
Through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Aeronautics Commission (MAC), the State of Michigan, with support from the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME), the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and the Government of Ontario, through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), will explore whether small drones can be flown beyond the line of sight of a pilot and be used in operations like just-in-time delivery, medical transport, or other small-scale deployment of UAS. The information gathered from this feasibility study will be used to further decision-making in preparing for the future of advanced air mobility in North America. Another critical piece of information that will determine if and how to proceed is the teams’ education and engagement with the communities surrounding the areas where the feasibility study is done.