An Innovative Partnership with the Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is using drones to advance crop yield and promote careers in STEM through partnerships with the FAA.

Drone over a farm with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma seal.

As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we spotlight some of the ways we have partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Together, we continue to introduce aerospace to communities where job opportunities may not have been possible.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was the first tribal government to fly drones as a Public Aircraft Operator which provides greater flexibility with aircraft regulations. We look forward to their continued innovation with drones!

The Choctaw drone fleet.
The Choctaw drone fleet.

As an FAA BEYOND lead participant, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma focus their drone operations on important, relevant, and realistic missions for tribal and rural communities. These include public safety, small package delivery, agriculture inspections, and low-altitude weather operations.

When the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma suspected a disease might be hurting the tribe’s commercial pecan farm, they used drones for inspection. The mission revealed healthy pecans in the tops of the trees and improved crop yield by 200 percent.

Pecans on a tree.
Pecans on a tree.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma are committed to promoting technological advances and STEM, and often work with local high schools and colleges on programs that benefit their citizens.

A Native American girl doing homework.
A Native American girl doing homework.

Did you know our Adopt-a-School program with the Atoka School System is on the Choctaw Nation reservation? The FAA’s Aviation STEM program has accomplished some innovative activities with the students to introduce aerospace concepts and careers.

Cleared for Takeoff

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Cleared for Takeoff

Voices, stories and news from the Federal Aviation Administration

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Cleared for Takeoff

Voices, stories and news from the Federal Aviation Administration