As we near the end of 2016, it’s hard to ignore the current and potential impact that Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology has on society. News reports from around the world continue to highlight many instances of unmanned aircrafts taking to the skies. As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other international airspace regulatory bodies continue opening up the airways for new technology deployments, businesses look to be in a prime position to leverage numerous unmanned flights around the globe. Despite the continued pressures on government agencies to make UAS deployable in commercial airspace, regulators and safety officials still tend to err on the side on caution. Numerous testing sites and operations have already begun in hopes of helping to define and implement the safety protocols UAS operators need to follow. However, will regulators allow UAS to fly “out of sight” missions one day? Will retailers finally get approval for the chance to deliver packages via drones? How will airport officials help coalesce flight patterns from both manned and unmanned systems?

Only time will tell, but as the excitement around UAS grows, we’ll keep a keen eye on the developments and use cases. Take a moment to enjoy this week’s highlights of the top UAS coverage throughout the past week.

FAA to Conduct Unique Drone Testing at DIA

By @CBS4Jeff | Published on @CBSDenver

“Unique drone testing is going on at Denver International Airport. The only other testing like it has been done at JFK Airport in New York and at Atlantic City Airport. Now testing is looking at how to identify and control drones near airliners in Denver.”

NASA Proves Out of Sight UAS Operations

By @NASAAmes | Published on @UASMagazine

“During the test, two of the drones flew beyond their commanders’ lines of sight. As many as two drones were operated in the same test airspace, separated by altitude and within sight of their operators. The pilots used the NASA-developed UTM research platform to gain information about all the drones’ locations and proximity to other air traffic and hazards. UTM also informed other airspace users of potential hazards and conflicting operations that could affect their plans.”

Flight at the Bay Shows UAS Role in Emergencies

By GPS World Staff | Published on @GPSWorld

“The test also helped Shore Regional Health explore new ways of providing access to medical care to rural areas, according to William Huffner, Shore’s chief medical officer. UAS technology has the potential to bring supplies not only to medical staff, but also directly to patients in isolated areas.”

The future is here: UAS are delivering Domino’s pizzas to customers

By @mcwm  | Published @qz

“To order a pizza with a drone, a customer has to opt into the service, and can then order online or through the Domino’s app to get the pie they desire. Right now, Domino’s told Quartz, the drones have a delivery radius of 1.5 km (about one mile) from the Whangaparaoa store, but the company is aiming to expand that to about 10 km (roughly six miles).”

Disney Plans to Fly Over 300 UAS Every Night This Winter at Disney World

by @aprilaser | Published on @Recode

“In August, after the Federal Aviation Administration released the drone rules for commercial operators, Intel was granted a waiver to fly an unlimited number of its Shooting Star drones per pilot at night over any uncontrolled airspace in the country.”

As we conclude this week’s unmanned aircraft edition, we hope to have inspired, informed and most of all entertained with all the possibilities of UAS taking flight. Reliable IoT connectivity and data communications are key to opening doors to what some deemed impossible to happen. It’s time to embrace these new technologies and discover what the future will unleash for the next-gen airspace.