Aerospace States Association Calls on FAA to Advance Test Site Program That Could Bring Jobs and Economic Investment to States.
Recently, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) applauded the Aerospace States Association’s (ASA) call on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to move forward with its Congressionally-mandated program to establish six test sites for the development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
In a letter to FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, chairman of ASA, asked that the program move forward “without further delay” so as to avoid “losing ground in an industry poised to deliver on job creation.”
The test site program was included in legislation signed into law in February 2012, which, in part, requires the FAA to plan for the integration of UAS into the national airspace by 2015. However, the FAA missed a key program benchmark, when it failed to establish the test site program by 12 Aug. 2012. About 30 states have expressed interest in applying, and have already invested funding, time and effort in preparation to respond to the FAA’s anticipated announcement.
Michael Toscano, AUVSI president & CEO, released the following statement in response to ASA’s letter :
“We applaud ASA for continuing its work to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in aerospace technology and help our industry create jobs. Not only will integrating UAS into the airspace help firefighters battle wildfires, search and rescue teams find missing persons and scientists research everything from hurricanes to wildlife, it will lead to quality, high-paying jobs for pilots, engineers, instructors, technicians and many others. The FAA test site program is critical to a safe and responsible integration, as well as bringing jobs and economic investment to the recipients of the test site designation. The FAA should open the site selection process without delay so we can move this technology forward while creating jobs.”