We don’t want them stinking drones here.

This story caught our eye from The Times Record in Maine.

A start up composite aviation company has applied to use the former Naval Air Station at Brunswick Maine to develop its systems. Seems like the locals are not in favour.
In July, Klapmeier and Kestrel business partner Anthony Galley told a crowd of local and national reporters in Augusta that they plan to launch a $100 million airplane production project on Brunswick Naval Air Station property. Kestrel Aircraft Co., they said, hopes to hire between 50 and 70 employees by November as it looks to finish designing and certifying its first model, the 37-foot-long JP10.

During a public hearing on the Kestrel grant application, Atwood spoke directly to Klapmeier: “Do you have any plans to build anything else other than single-engine turbo prop (planes)?”

Klapmeier responded, “Yes, we do … all designed to be personal transportation machines … No, we don’t have any plans to do a UAV.”

That answer was good enough for Atwood, who said prior to supporting the grant application, “I heard he doesn’t intend to build unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones, and I wanted to repeat that out loud. That makes it quite possible for me to be very supportive.”

Klapmeier described to the council a “large project with a lot of moving pieces,” including the CDBG grant, but said the process is something he’s “very familiar with.”

“We’re going to have businesses on the base before the mission of the base ends,” MRRA executive director Steve Levesque told the council in support of the grant application. Levesque added later, “The Kestrel project is a $100 million project involving about 300 jobs overall on the base over the next few years. We’re pretty excited about having this company here.”

During a brief recess following the vote on the Kestrel application, Klapmeier said he knew the question of drones would come up at the meeting.

“I would hate to see the news media try to build (the drone question) into some kind of controversy it isn’t,” he said.

Klapmeier said his plans for the base would be “a win-win-win for the community, the base and the industry.”

Seems the good folk of Maine are not aware that UAS are the future! Lets hope in the future nobody needs the service of a UAS up there.

Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.