"President Trump issued an executive memorandum to the Department of Transportation to implement the drone integration pilot program. The idea is state, local, and tribal government working with non-government entities apply to the FAA to have an “innovation zone” designated in their area to develop and safely test new and innovative UAS concepts of operations. These innovation zones allow more advanced drone operations to take place such as “delivery of life-saving medicines and commercial packages, inspections of critical infrastructure, support for emergency management operations, and surveys of crops for precision agriculture applications.” The innovation zones also will allow for “testing of new UAS traffic management systems and detection and tracking capabilities” and counter UAS technology in accord with current law."
Johnathan Rupprecht does a great job breaking down the details of the memorandum requirements here. For more information, visit the FAA UAS Pilot Integration website.
The State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism is submitting a Notice of Intent to the FAA as lead applicant, with University of Hawaii, DoT, public safety. and other entities submitting as Interested Parties. If you are part of a Hawaii state, local, or commercial entity that is interested in using UAS in any of the above use-cases, look into how to apply as an interested party here.