Americas FAA Test Sites

Chamber, RAAR making push for Cal UAS

By Jack Barnwell

Ridgecrest’s Chamber of Commerce, in a joint bid with the Ridgecrest Area Association of Realtors and the California Unmanned Aircraft Systems Portal team, launched a letter writing campaign in an effort to drum up support to have Inyokern be selected as a coveted national test site.

Nathan Ahle, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, issued a letter Thursday, calling the potential unmanned systems industry a prime opportunity for economic growth for the Indian Wells Valley.

“As our community continues to work to find new ways to diversify its economic base, a golden opportunity has presented itself in the form of unmanned aerial systems,” Ahle wrote. “The Cal UAS Portal at Inyokern Airport provides the opportunity for our area to be selected by the FAA as one of six sites from around the country to be a hub for this important work.”

Ahle said the purpose of the letter campaign is to show state and federal leaders the value of having Inyokern as one of the six designated test sites and was “a win-win for both the community and the scientists and engineers looking to do this critical work.”

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