UAS and Zip Codes: Do Wealthier Areas Have More Commercial Permits?

Authors: Anthony Cummings*, University of Texas at Dallas
Topics: Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Environmental Science
Keywords: UAS; Commercial permits; zip codes; equity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Harding, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Each year there is a continued integration of UAS in the American economy. UAS are used for a myriad of applications, ranging from aerial photography through to the monitoring the state of various crops. As UAS continue to be embraced, there is significant interest as to whether their utility is concentrated in wealthier areas of the American landscape. Using publicly available data on permits granted for commercial licenses by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), this paper explores two primary questions. First, what are the main areas of utility that UAS permits are granted to fulfill? Secondly, given the areas that UAS permits originate, is there a relationship between the socioeconomic conditions of these regions and the number of permits granted? These questions will be analyzed through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Content analysis methods are used to explore the nature of permits to determine the areas of utility. Spatial analysis techniques are used to determine whether there are relationships between where permits are granted and the wealth of originating neighborhoods. The study provides insights into whether there are disparities in UAS utilization across the American landscape.

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