By Jack Barnwell
In a long-anticipated announcement Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration opened up proposals for the six Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) test and research sites across the country.
In a news release, the FAA stated “expanded use of UAS represents a major next step in aviation innovation and will present economic opportunities both for the communities that are selected for this pilot program and for the aerospace industry in general.”
In the announcement, the agency opened up proposals for states, local governments and eligible universities to put in the paperwork.
The opening, called a screening information request, opens the floodgates for Inyokern Airport and other test sites in California to put out bids along with other competitors.
Numerous communities across the country are vying for the test selection, with states and communities throwing in resources in a bid to secure themselves for one of the coveted spots.
The FAA said the testing requirements would be the same for all applicants, including consideration of “geographic diversity, climatic diversity, location of ground infrastructure and research needs, population density and air traffic density, as well as specific goals and objectives to be accomplished.”