States vying for the six government-mandated test range sites for unmanned aerial vehicles are getting anxious for a decision from the FAA on where the facilities will go.
The Federal Aviation Administration wasdue in August to issue its first decisions on where the ranges – where unmanned aircraft can be flown experimentally, with an eye toward eventually integrating such unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System – would be positioned. After seeking initial public input on the locations in May, according to an organization of state lieutenant governors and state leaders, the agency hasn’t yet issued its decision.
The sites are expected to generate millions in revenue and create thousands of jobs in each location that’s ultimately chosen. Twenty-six states, including those as diverse as, Hawaii, North Dakota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia, have expressed interest in hosting one of the test sites.
The lieutenant governor of Alaska and chair of the Aerospace States Association sent a letter to FAA administrator Michael Huerta on Sept. 21 urging the agency to move forward with the project