© 2023 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan, Ontario partner for aerial mobility corridor study

Annie Spratt

Michigan and Ontario, Canada are teaming up for a feasibility study into whether a cross-border drone skyway is possible.

The potential skyway could have commercial uses like package delivery or medical transport.

State Department of Transportation spokesperson Michael Frezell said drone technology is the wave of the future.

“What better place to test it out between Ontario, through an international border, and Michigan. And this allows us the ability to transfer products between both countries. Especially in a world where we’re seeing a lot of supply chain issues,” Frezell said.

Current federal regulations prohibit drones from being flown outside of a pilot’s line of sight.

The study aims to prepare the state for when that changes.

Frezell said it’s too early to estimate timelines for the study and other details.

“We’re doing a study right now on this. So, the study is going to have to show what this will look like, how many drones could be used, and where can they be used,” he said.

The feasibility study also looks at the potential of drones to carry goods around southeast Michigan and other parts of the state.

Michigan’s contract costs a little over half-a-million-dollars.

A special thanks to those who helped us unlock $50,000 this past Giving Tuesday. If you haven't supported the news reporting of this station yet, now is the best time to give. Support your favorite community public station today.