This month, the Department of Transportation (DoT) in collaboration with FAA presented the new UAS Integration Pilot Program.
The program allows state, local and tribal entities to partner with industry players to test and operate different drone initiatives (such as beyond visual line of site, flight over people, flight at night etc.) to accelerate the integration of UAS technologies.
The FAA will likely grant part 107 waivers to programs that will be accepted which will allow organizations to expand the use of drones beyond what is allowed today. Private sector companies can only participate in the program through a partnership with a government entity.
The value to the organizations may vary. For a small organization like a fire department it may simply allow to get a 107 waiver through which they can expand their UAS use. For a state, it may expedite the use of drones under their jurisdiction which in the future may create jobs and economic growth (along with positioning the state as innovative and forward looking).
Applications are open for two months but to apply as an organization you to show intent by sending a brief email to the FAA by November 28th.